For whatever reason, Dark Phoenix failed to land with audiences and now thanks to Cyclops actor Tye Sheridan we now have some insight on what could have been there in the third act before there were reshoots in the fall with a new train sequence.
Sheridan spoke to CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast where he revealed some details about the third act that was cut. The script originally had an action scene at the United Nations in New York City which involved the shapeshifting aliens the Skrulls (something alluded to during auditions for the film).
SHERIDAN: “It’s really hard for me to remember what the ending of this movie is. [laughs] Originally, it was scripted that Charles and Scott go to the U.N. because — man, I’m totally going to mess this up — they go to the U.N. because they’re going to try to tell the President that, ‘Hey, we’re under attack by aliens and, they’ve now captured Jean Grey.’ Or, you know, whatever it is that we’re going to tell him.”
“And then Jean comes down in the front of the U.N., and causes… there is this huge battle between the guards at the U.N. and Jean Grey, and all the guards turn out to be Skrulls. And then Jean and Scott are — Scott is fighting Skrulls in the fountain. He gets thrown into the fountain in front of the U.N. And then Jean comes down and basically fights all of the Skrulls off, and then blasts back off into space. [She] basically says goodbye to Scott and Charles. And then it’s all over, I guess.”
When asked if Tye thinks if we’ll see that ending he confirmed that shot it.
SHERIDAN: “Oh man, good question. We shot that [sequence] like two or three times, actually. … But I mean, it’s part of the process, man. You never know. Something could read so great on the page, and then the second you put it on a screen in front of someone, it becomes something else. It’s really hard to figure out, you know, what the best version of a movie is. And also, specifically, the ending of a film. The ending of a film is really hard to nail. And obviously, these films set up a formula where you kind of want to see, you know, there’s always a big battle at the end. For the X-Men, you kind of want to see them united together at the end. So that was, I think that was what led to the reshoots, and I could be totally wrong. … But yeah, that’s my 2 cents there.”
There have been varying opinions with what happened with that third act and why it was changed. Some have suggested the ending didn’t land well in test screenings (along with the studio) and others have said that it would have conflicted with Captain Marvel given their version of the Skrulls were front and center.
At that point of time, 20th Century Fox still had access to the Skrulls via Super-Skrull and a handful of others connected to Fantastic Four. Fox’s Skrulls are able to mimic the powers of superheroes because that aspect is connected to Fantastic Four (which is why we didn’t see that power in Captain Marvel). There had also been some rumblings that the studio was mulling over having a big X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover and that almost happened in
Dark Phoenix wouldn’t be the first or last movie to change major parts with reboots because of test audience/studio notes. I’m curious if Disney will be adding that footage or whatever that third act looked like in home release. The Rogue Cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past was released, but I think we’re talking about a sequence that might not have been 100% completed with final stage visual effects.
SOURCE: REEL BLEND/CINEMA BLEND