Simon Kinberg Likens Dark Phoenix's Original Ending to Captain America: Civil War and Captain Marvel

The ending of the Fox X-Men’s long cinematic journey almost played out a bit differently.
The ending of the Fox X-Men’s long cinematic journey almost played out a bit differently.
Image: 20th Century Fox

While the cast of Simon Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix has spoken about the similarities between the film’s original ending and the ending of another recent big superhero film—similarities that were so extensive they required the final X-Men installment to undergo extensive reshoots—everyone has been coy about what that other superhero film was, as well as how Dark Phoenix’s new ending sets it apart.


Given that both Dark Phoenix and Captain Marvel center cosmically-empowered women who journey into the stars as part of their character arcs, it made sense that Fox wouldn’t want audiences to see Jean as cramping Carol’s style.

When we had a chance to speak with Kinberg himself earlier this week to talk about the how Dark Phoenix evolved during the production process, he was candid about the parallels between his original ending and those of other Marvel movies, but pointed out that the reshoots took place long before the public had a chance to see Captain Marvel. Surprisingly, the big MCU movie Dark Phoenix’s original ending most closely resembled was about Captain America and Iron Man:

My original ending didn’t have the entire X-Family together the way they are in the film now. More than Captain Marvel, you could see a lot of Civil War in that ending. Usually, these big, huge action movies have the climactic moment in the third act. I loved the way that Civil War had its big action action set piece where everyone’s facing off more towards the end of the second act rather than in the third, so that after that huge battle, you’re left with Winter Soldier, Captain America, and Iron Man.

It’s this telescoped down view of their raw emotions, and I loved how intimate that was. That’s what I was going for with Dark Phoenix’s ending even though it then might have looked like Captain Marvel for about two minutes.

Kinberg elaborated that, at her full power, Jean’s sequences in space were reminiscent of some of Captain Marvel’s visuals, and that his original film truly would have torn the X-Men apart on an ideological level the way Civil War did for the Avengers. We’ll have more from this conversation coming soon after more folks have had a chance to see Dark Phoenix, which is in theaters now.

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Charles Pulliam-Moore is an NYC-based culture critic whose work centers on fandom, pop culture, politics, race, and sexuality. He still thinks Cyclops made a few valid points.



I’ll admit I’m not super familiar with how long this movie has been in production...but it sounds like the ending was reshot less because it accidentally being too much like Captain Marvel and instead was reshot because they lifted it straight from Civil War.

Not that Magneto and Xavier on opposite ends of a big fight is anything new in the franchise (film or otherwise). And the similarities to Last Stand would have been even more pronounced if he had two sides fighting while Jean/Pheonix just sorta existed in the background.

I dunno, TL;DR: Maybe this Kinberg guy just isn’t that good of a writer.