Some brand new concept art from Dark Phoenix has surfaced online and it dumps a significant amount of fuel on a fire that's already been burning with this movie since before it even hit theaters. To say the least, the latest X-Men entry hasn't exactly met expectations. There is a lot of blame to go around. One interesting issue that has come up multiple times is that the Marvel Comics adaptation was forced to make some major changes, as it closely resembled Captain Marvel. This art really speaks to that.
The images were shared to Instagram by concept artist Houston Sharp. They feature Sophie Turner's Jean Grey blasting off into space, engulfed in flame. Coincidentally, they look an awful lot like Brie Larson's Captain Marvel when she blasts off into space in her own movie. As Sharp notes in his caption, the design was changed in the final cut. Here's what he had to say.
"Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) Blasting Off into Space. This shot for the final sequence was changed a bit in the released film. More concept art from Dark Phoenix to come!"
Dark Phoenix, which was directed by longtime franchise producer/writer Simon Kinberg, originally wrapped filming in late 2017. However, massive reshoots were eventually ordered that significantly changed the third act. We later found out that the movie originally involved Skrulls, who were the antagonists in Captain Marvel, and that the third act also originally resembled, more closely, that particular movie. This concept art further reveals the remarkable similarities that, at least at one time, existed between these two titles.
Prior to the movie's release, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender revealed in an interview that the reshoots were done in order to avoid similarities between an unnamed superhero movie. Thanks to another interview with Tye Sheridan later on, it was confirmed that movie was indeed Captain Marvel. So why the changes? Disney purchased most of Fox, who owned the X-Men franchise, in a $71 billion deal. While the deal didn't officially close until March, it's clear that the changes were made as to not have this movie conflict with Brie Larson's first solo outing in the MCU, as she's set to be a major part of the universe in the future.
Captain Marvel, released in March, wound up being a huge success, grossing more than $1 billion globally. Dark Phoenix is another story entirely. It's largely been panned by critics, currently boasting a 23 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. To date, it's earned just $232 million at the box office and it's rapidly being pulled from theaters, meaning its chances to recoup its massive, inflated budget (thanks to the reshoots) are becoming increasingly slim. Sadly, this isn't the send-off this version of the X-Men probably deserved. But might it have been worse if these movies wound up being so similar? Be sure to check out the concept art from Houston Sharp's Instagram below.