Despite being the second attempt at the storyline on the big screen, Dark Phoenix managed to still exclude a lot of important elements from the classic comic epic. Director Simon Kinberg (who also had a hand in X-Men: The Last Stand and got a second go at bat) was unable to include the likes of Lilandra and the Shi'ar Empire and most notably the Hellfire Club from the final film. Now, word has come out that the infamous secret society from X-Men comics was originally going to be in the movie, with a whole host of characters set to appear.
Concept artist Phil Boutte️️️ revealed costume designs he created of the characters that didn't make it into the film on Instagram. From the looks of the images, and Boutte's caption, it seems like these designer were scrapped well before casting could even begin. Boutte's images reveal first looks at characters like Shinobi Shaw, Harry Leland, the Red Lotus Gang, Freidrich Von Roehm, 'The Twins' (aka (Andrea von Strucker and Andreas von Strucker), and none other than Emma Frost. You can check out the full concept art for the characters below!
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🔥Enter: The Hellfire Club! 🔥 A while back, I had the pleasure of working with the ever gracious Costume Designer @daniel.oh.orlandi on #xmendarkphoenix . We had a great time but were saddened that these designs ended up on the chopping block. Here is a post of what could have been. Now that Marvel owns the property, I wonder if we will see some version of them in the future? 🤷🏾♂️..... . . . . #xmen #hellfireclub #darkphoenix #darkphoenixmovie #conceptart #costumeconceptart #characterdesign #costumedesign
Kinberg previously addressed why these things were cut out of the film, but failed to mention that at one point they were at least planned to be in the movie.
"I think if I had four hours to tell this story I would've included the Hellfire Club, I might've included Lilandra," Kinberg explained. "Because I wanted it to be so focused on Jean and I wanted to really tell a character story a little differently than we have in the past in the X-Men. In the past it's been a little more horizontal, meaning there was a breadth of character, there was a bunch of characters. In this one I wanted to go a little more vertical, I wanted to go deep with our main characters, and especially with Jean."
He added, "So while I loved the Hellfire characters and their role in the Dark Phoenix saga in the comics, and I loved the Lilandra storyline in the comics, all of those felt like they were going to start to compete with the main story of Jean and her emotional crack-up and the break-up of the X-Men family. And I didn't want to draw away from that main emotional through-line."
Given the disastrous box office of the movie, and that the X-Men characters are now fully owned by Marvel Studios, it remains to be seen when these characters will next get a chance to appear on the big screen. The group was previously used in X-Men: First Class. with Kevin Bacon taking on the role of Sebastian Shaw and January Jones as Emma Frost. The TV series The Gifted also used the group in a minor capacity.
What do you think of this scrapped concept art from Dark Phoenix? And who would you want to see appear as the characters from The Hellfire Club in the MCU? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!