Fox Exec Teases 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' Is the End of the Franchise Before Disney Relaunch

In 2000, X-Men landed in theaters and helped launch a string of successful films inspired by Marvel characters, with DC Comics characters previously dominating the movie landscape. In the years since, the series has seen six films and multiple spinoffs, proving that the franchise is able to compete with the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from Marvel Studios. With Disney having purchased 21st Century Fox, including the X-Men, fans have wondered what the future could hold for the characters after the release of this summer's X-Men: Dark Phoenix. While speaking at CinemaCon, one Fox exec hinted that the new film will conclude that franchise as we know it.

“It’s the perfect sendoff for our epic X-men series,” Emma Watts shared with the audience after showing footage from the film, as confirmed by ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis.

Since rumors about Disney's purchase of Fox emerged, fans have wondered what this would mean for the series. Various sources at Disney and Marvel Studios have expressed their excitement at the X-Men being absorbed into the MCU, with the details of how that could happen being nothing more than conjecture. Watts' comments seemingly confirm that the proper X-Men series will conclude in its current form, likely leading to new actors being cast to fill roles when the MCU officially incorporates the X-Men.

While some fans will surely be disappointed by this news, Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg previously claimed that the film was always envisioned as the end of the franchise, long before the news about Disney's purchase.

"From the beginning of conceiving what we were going to do with this film and writing it, which was three plus years ago, so long before there was a Disney merger, I felt like this was the natural culmination for this cycle of X-Men movies," Kinberg explained to ComicBook.com during an interview at WonderCon. "Because it is seeing this family that you've come to love and know for how ever many films, and if you count the originals almost 20 years now, you see that family tested in a whole new way. You see that family start to fall apart in a real way for the first time, ultimately come back together.

Added Kinberg, "That felt like the culmination of a storyline or a cycle of these films. And for me, and for most of the fans ... Dark Phoenix is the ultimate and most iconic storyline in the X-Men universe. And so I didn't know how we would top Dark Phoenix within this cycle. This felt like we had to earn our way back to Dark Phoenix. And I feel like we did hopefully, and beyond that felt like we'd want to sort of create an ending and the possibility of a new beginning. And that's what we do on this film."

X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits theaters on June 7th.

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