Simon Kinberg has been with the “X-Men” franchise ever since he co-wrote the 2006 entry “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which means he’s pretty good and telling which installments strike a chord with fans and which end up being disappointments. Ahead of making his directorial debut with “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” Kinberg admits to Entertainment Weekly that the previous entry, “X-Men: Apocalypse,” was not the franchise’s best.
“I think we took our eye off what has always been the bedrock of the franchise which is these characters,” Kinberg says. “It became about global destruction and visual effects over emotion and character.”
Producer Hutch Parker agrees with Kinberg and adds that the movie’s script continued to change while production was filming.
“It’s always dangerous if your script is evolving while you’re shooting. Certainly, in hindsight, we all feel like the genre has been evolving aesthetically and tonally and that the film didn’t,” Parker says. “There’s a lot that I think is very good in the film but, as a whole, it was struggling to find ways to coalesce, narratively emotionally and in terms of plot. Aesthetically, it felt sort of dated relative to an evolution you were seeing play out everywhere else. We learned a lot from that.”
Kinberg promises “Dark Phoenix” will put the franchise back on track by making the universe feel a bit more grounded, which should only help audiences connect more with the character-building at the center of the movie.
“One of the things I went into this film wanting to do is obviously focus on the characters and give them real emotions to play and come up with a theme that would make it feel relevant and necessary in today’s world,” he said. “What I talked about with the performances and the photography and the visual effects is it needs to all feel organic and it needs to feel like it lives in our world to make it feel relevant again and not so heightened.”
“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” already has a November 2, 2018 release date from 20th Century Fox. Head over to Entertainment Weekly for more of Kinberg’s interview.