X-Men: Dark Phoenix was long rumored to include the race of shapeshifting aliens known to Marvel Comics fans as Skrulls. When the film hit theaters, the villain portrayed by Jessica Chastain offered up a similar ability to change their appearance but claimed to be from the D'bari Empire rather than ever being tied to Skrulls. This was likely one of the changes made to avoid having any similarities to Captain Marvel, another Marvel film which had released prior to Dark Phoenix.
During an interview at the London junket of Dark Phoenix, Cyclops actor Tye Sheridan opened up about the major changes to the end of the film. “There is this huge battle between the guards at the U.N. and Jean Grey," Sheridan said on the ReelBlend podcast. "All the guards turn out to be Skrulls."
As the story goes in Dark Phoenix, the word "Skrull" is never mentioned. In fact, during ComicBook.com's interview with Jessica Chastain and Sophie Turner, it appeared the two actresses had never heard the word Skrull before -- though, they ultimately dodged a question about whether the word was ever used or pitched to them. "Well, I was sent the script immediately, so it was pretty clear, she was otherworldly," Chastain said of her character. "Basically I'm there to encourage Jean to be her full self and that includes the darkness. I was like, I was saying something, I was like the little devil whispering in her ear, on her shoulder."
It seems as though the filmmakers elected to remove the word Skrull from a subtitle and replace it with "D'bari." Any other mention of Chastain's Vuk character's origin story was either cut from the film or nonexistent in the first place. When the change was made is unknown, as is whether or not it was influenced by Disney's purchase of Fox, as the studios made use of Skrulls in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and could be using the alien race as a key component moving forward.
Dark Phoenix writer and director Simon Kinberg already revealed the movies which prompted the major changes to Dark Phoenix. "My original ending didn’t have the entire X-Family together the way they are in the film now. More than Captain Marvel, you could see a lot of Civil War in that ending," Kinberg told io9. "Usually, these big, huge action movies have the climactic moment in the third act. I loved the way that Civil War had its big action action set piece where everyone’s facing off more towards the end of the second act rather than in the third, so that after that huge battle, you’re left with Winter Soldier, Captain America, and Iron Man."
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is now playing in theaters.