Dark Phoenix is trying to stay true to the comic origins of the Phoenix Saga, and that meant an expansion for the franchise into the cosmos.
That's not something that the X-Men films have really explored up to this point, but for director Simon Kinberg it was necessary to reach this story's full potential. The good news is that other movies in the superhero genre, specifically films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, have made that a relatively normal occurrence.
"I always look to the comics obviously as the touchstones for the movies, and as you know and all fans know there is a lot of cosmic, extraterrestrial stories in the X-Men lore," Kinberg told IGN. "It's not something that we've explored in the past. It's something we certainly begin to explore in this movie and if it's appropriate to whatever the next movies would be then I would absolutely do that. It's something I think audiences have almost grown accustomed to now given that the Marvel [MCU] movies are so often now intergalactic."
Embracing the more cosmic aspects of the story was also important in not repeating the mistakes of X-3.
"I'll keep it relatively mysterious but it is a cosmic story in a way that is extraterrestrial, which is something we've never done in the X-Men movies before but is obviously something that is integral to the Dark Phoenix story so I felt we couldn't' do what we did on X3 and ignore that," Kinberg said. "We had to actually embrace it. So there's a fair amount that takes place in space, and the inciting incident that starts to turn Jean, let's say, dark and fill her with this power that she can't control happens in space. And then there are forces from space that come to Earth because of that."
Here's hoping the second time is the charm.
You can check out the official description of Dark Phoenix below:
"In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean's soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy."
Dark Phoenix hits theaters on February 14, 2019.