X-Men: Dark Phoenix Director Simon Kinberg's Next Film Loses Cinematographer

It looks like director Simon Kinberg's follow up to X-Men: Dark Phoenix just suffered a bit of a setback. According to a new report from Geeks WorldWide, Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins has dropped out as director of photography on 355, the action-thriller that Kinberg is set to direct. Tim Maurice-Jones, whose work includes The Woman in Black and Kick-Ass 2, will reportedly be taking Deakins' place.

Deakins has a pretty storied filmography as a cinematographer, which includes Skyfall, The Shawshank Redemption, No Country for Old Men, and Fargo. Since 1995, Deakins has earned fourteen Best Cinematography nominations at the Academy Awards and finally won the trophy in 2018 for his work on Blade Runner 2049.

355 will follow a group of female spies from different international agencies, who team up together to stop the world from being thrown into chaos. The film will star Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong'o, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan, Diane Kruger, and Edgar Ramirez.

While it's unclear exactly why Deakins left the project, it serves as just the latest blow that Kinberg has endured this week, after Dark Phoenix's critical reception has been middling-at-best. The film debuted with a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which has been the worst score of Fox's X-Men franchise. With the film being seen as the last official X-Men film (outside of 2020's New Mutants) before Marvel Studios reboots the characters under the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that's certainly not the best note to be going out on.

"I have not had any talks with them about it," Kinberg recently said of the Disney/Fox merger. "Kevin Feige and I go way back to my first X-Men movie actually. He was the producer when I was the co-writer on The Last Stand. We've been friends over the years and are also people that root for each other and support each other. I saw him actually. We sat down to catch up. We'll have a meal every now and then, though obviously, we've both been pretty busy over the past however many years. We met just before the Disney merger was made official, so we didn't talk about any business. We actually spent most of the time talking about Twilight Zone. But it was fun. It was cool."

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"The only thing we talked about in terms of Disney and Marvel was just how great the Disney marketing team is, because the only thing that has impacted Dark Phoenix from the Disney-Fox merger is the fact that the Disney team has become part of the marketing and publicity process," Kinberg continued. "They are really great and I've known the Disney guys for a while now. I produced Cinderella over there. I had a hand in helping out and working on a few of the Star Wars movies. I know them well and to see them up close in the marketing and publicity of the film is really impressive. It's a pretty historic run Kevin has had and Disney has had. I haven't had any talks with them formally about their plan."

X-Men: Dark Phoenix arrives in theaters this Friday, June 7th. 355 does not currently have a release date.