For decades, DC Comics characters like Superman and Batman were the dominating forces at the box office, with it not being until X-Men in 2000 that Marvel Comics made a major presence on the big screen. The two publishing companies have always had a playful rivalry, yet neither has been afraid to find ways to reference one another in their various stories. Audiences who have seen X-Men: Dark Phoenix may have noticed a similarity between the final scene of that film and the final scene of The Dark Knight Rises, with writer/director Simon Kinberg confirming this was more than just a coincidence.
WARNING: Spoilers below for Dark Phoenix
The final conflict in the film sees Jean Grey embracing the full powers of the Phoenix Force, ultimately sacrificing herself as the power launches into space. Charles Xavier then leaves his school behind, with the film depicting him outside of a Parisian cafe having a chess game with Magneto. This reminded many fans of the finale of The Dark Knight Rises, which depicts Bruce Wayne sharing a glance with Alfred outside of a European cafe.
When speaking with io9, Kinberg was directly asked if this was a nod to the Christopher Nolan film, which the director confirmed. The filmmaker also detailed how Batman Begins was a major tonal influence on this film, in addition to the inclusion of a scene depicting a former superhero choosing to lead a quieter life.
"Obviously there are the supernatural, fantastical elements from the source material and it was important to me that we included the cosmic intergalactic storyline from the comics because we hadn’t seen any of that in X-Men films yet," Kinberg detailed. "The superhero movies that were most inspiring to me were like Logan and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy."
He added, "Ironically, the first half of Batman Begins is my favorite chunk of the Dark Knight movies. Obviously, they’re all masterpieces, but the first half of Batman Begins before he becomes Batman, I just found so relatable because he’s just a guy. He doesn’t have his suit or an alter ego. He’s not off fighting crime. I approached Dark Phoenix with those films in mind, and wanted to emphasize the character drama. The movie needed to be more raw and intimate and personal than we’d done with the franchise before."
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is in theaters now.
Did you notice the connection between the films? Let us know in the comments below!