Is it just not possible to do Dark Phoenix justice on the big screen? Parts of the iconic comic book storyline were already adapted for the 2006 superhero movie “X-Men: The Last Stand,” which brought the critical success of the “X-Men” film franchise to a halt. Now the same storyline has been used as the basis for “Dark Phoenix,” which has earned some of the worst reviews ever for an “X-Men” movie. “Dark Phoenix,” starring Sophie Turner in the title role, currently boasts a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes from 166 reviews.
While critics are definitely not happy with the “X-Men” franchise’s second go-around with the Dark Phoenix storyline, one person who is excited is Famke Janssen. The actress originated the role of Jean Grey on the big screen starting with the 2000 kickoff movie “X-Men,” then reprised the character in “X2: X-Men United” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.” The latter sequel found Janssen assuming the Dark Phoenix character. The actress had a cameo appearance as Jean in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
“I’m just happy that Dark Phoenix got her own movie because she deserves it,” Janssen told Variety about the new movie. “And it’s a really powerful and very important story in the comics, that in ‘The Last Stand’ we just touched upon the tiniest part of. It was something that needed to be told as a full-blown film and now that’s happening. And it’s wonderful.”
When asked if she would ever return to the “X-Men” movie franchise, Jenssen added, “If someone asks me. I might consider it.”
Unfortunately for Janssen, the current era of “X-Men” movies is ending with the release of “Dark Phoenix.” Now that Disney owns 20th Century Fox, the X-Men characters are finally allowed to pop up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While there are no current plans to introduce Wolverine, Storm, Jean Grey, and more into the MCU, the next time the X-Men take to the big screen it will definitely be in a Marvel movie.
As for “Dark Phoenix,” IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich slammed the film as a “$200 million misfire that has no reason to exist” in his D review. The movie is now playing in theaters nationwide.