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Dark Phoenix reshot its entire ending because it was too much like another big superhero movie

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

More cynical fans of the cinematic superhero genre might point out that the vast majority of modern comic book movies tend to end in the same way these days, with our heroes facing off against a computer-animated horde of generic bad guys, while one big, much angrier enemy ends up exploding in a ball of CGI fluff. (For bonus points, there’s also usually some kind of portal involved.) Still, there’s, “Oh, that’s a bit similar, isn’t it?”, and then there’s “Oh fuck, this is going to cost us millions to re-shoot”, which is apparently what hit Simon Kinberg’s upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix over the last few years.

We’ve known for a while that the Sophie Turner-starring feature underwent extensive reshoots in late 2018, delaying its release by more than a year. Kinberg went so far as to admit that he completely reworked the movie’s climax, transforming it from a big, space-based battle—which would put it well in line with the original X-Men comic story it’s adapting—to something more “grounded.” Now, stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have made it clear in a recent Yahoo UK interview why these changes had to be made: They got scooped.

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“The finale HAD to change,” McAvoy told Yahoo Movies’ Tom Butler. “There was a lot of overlap and parallels with another superhero movie that came out... a while ago. And we had no idea that we were...”—“That they had spies on set,” Fassbender jokingly interjects. Neither actor went into detail, but Playlist did a bit of detective work based on the timing of when the reshoots happened, and makes a pretty compelling case that the movie in question might have been Captain Marvel, which does, indeed, end with a massively powerful heroine using energy blasts to blow the ever-loving shit out of a bunch of bad guys in space. (Not for nothing, but the re-shoots also reportedly changed Jean Grey’s overall look for the film, moving away from a very Carol Danvers-esque nimbus of radiant energy.)

For what it’s worth, all of the actors seem pretty happy about the change in direction, with Turner, especially, seeming to delight in the idea that the movie might end on a more human moment, rather than a series of stellar computer-assisted explosions. (Jessica Chastain does seem to dance around what a clusterfuck this has all been, though, noting that the entire focus of her mysterious mentor character changed between the film’s various drafts.)

X-Men: Dark Phoenix arrives in theaters on June 7. Probably.

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