After the success of the Deadpool franchise and Logan, the mainstream X-Men movies have some ground to make in the eyes of the fans, many of whom want their superheroics to be more mature or much more vibrant and akin to the Marvel Studios movies. Dark Phoenix will attempt to blend both, according to writer and director Simon Kinberg.
"The way I wanted to make the movie was very different than the aesthetic of previous X-Men movies, which I've been very involved in and proud of," Kinberg told Empire. "But I wanted it to feel more naturalistic, I wanted it to feel edgier, more handmade, more real. I was very inspired by what James Mangold did with Logan, and I felt like if I could bring a measure of that aesthetic in the film that all of the intergalactic and larger-scale things that happen in the movie would feel more shocking, more realistic, more emotional. They'd be grounded in some reality."
Kinberg said he wants the movie to feel like a superhero movie, but still invoke the same tone and mood that was established in Logan and, surprisingly, the Star Wars franchise.
"And so, all of the movie – from the costumes, to the title card, to the set design, to the way the X-jet looks – all of that stuff is just more analogue in a way," Kinberg said. "More like, let's say, the original Star Wars movies. Not that analogue, but the movies I grew up loving had this very gritty, edgy, cool, human feeling to them."
The director understands the X-Men franchise could be facing the end of an era, with Disney's purchase of 20th Century Fox looming in the future. But Kinberg is focused on making the next great mutant movie.
"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 said to 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."
Fans have to wait for Dark Phoenix, with the movie's release date getting delayed until June 7, 2019.