"The Dark Phoenix Saga" by Chris Claremont and John Byrne is one of the most influential and iconic superhero stories of all time. It is often still considered the greatest X-Men story ever told. The story finds the X-Men's own Jean Grey corrupted by a cosmic force. The X-Men must then journey to space to defend Jean in a battle that will decide her fate. The X-Men movies are taking a second shot at adapting the story into a movie with Dark Phoenix, directed by Simon Kinberg. Speaking to ComicBook.com at WonderCon, Kinberg revealed what he considers to be the essential elements of Dark Phoenix.
"What I love about the original comic is so many things, not all of which I felt like were right necessarily for the movie, but what I love when they brought to the film was the notion of Jean being a character who is inhabited by a force that she can't control and that force being cosmic," Kinberg says. "And that that her struggle with that, her dilemma, her internal dilemma creates a fissure within the X-Men, this family of the X-Men as to whether they believe she can be helped or whether they believe that actually the world needs helping and so they need to stop her.
"And all of that to me was the core emotional ideas of the original comic and what was most important was bringing the core emotional ideas to this movie and obviously it being interstellar and having aliens and doing a lot of the things we've never done in any X-Men movie before including [X-Men: The Last Stand]," he continues. "And I think that I did, but it's distinct from the comic in that it's much more of a space opera and this has space elements in it where it has aliens in it, it has space action sequences, but this is a more grounded, more intimate story than the original comic. And so that is probably the biggest difference is just the tone of it is more character based and intimate than the original."
The X-Men movies first tried to adapt "The Dark Phoenix Saga" in X-Men: The Last Stand. Producer Hutch Parker explained to ComicBook.com in a separate interview how Dark Phoenix's approach differs from the previous film.
"This is pretty different than the third movie," he explained. "I mean the decision here, it was really Simon's decision was to tell the Dark Phoenix story but really tell it as Jean's story. So that was first and foremost. So it's a much more thorough investigation of that saga of the story at that heart of the saga and much truer to Jean as a character. I think you're right that one of the challenges was how do we balance what is in the comics in the galactic and intergalactic nature of that storyline with wanting to stay more Earth-centric. And you know, we obviously made the decision to include some of that, but to keep it rooted in and around the characters we've come to know and love within the X-Men."
Are you ready for Dark Phoenix? Let us know in the comments. Dark Phoenix opens in theaters on June 7th.
Additional reporting by Scott Huver
Have you subscribed to ComicBook Nation, the official Podcast of ComicBook.com yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
In this latest episode, we talk about Star Wars: Episode IX , Avengers: Endgame opening early and more! Make sure to subscribe now and never miss an episode!