Perhaps the best part about X-Men: Days of Future Past is that the film pretty much wipes X-Men: The Last Stand out of existence. By the time the movie ends, the time-line has been reset in such a way that the embarrassing attempt to adapt the Dark Phoenix Saga has be eliminated from the movie canon.
The next X-Men movie will be set in the 80s and deal with Apocalypse. Since we’re going to see the first ever mutant, a character who looks alien and is over 5,000 years old, could this lay the groundwork for a REAL adaptation of the Dark Phoenix Saga?
For those who are only familiar with the Phoenix story, it’s a lot more epic than the movies ever gave it a chance to be. Chris Claremont laid the groundwork for Dark Phoenix throughout his run on X-Men (Volume 1) beginning with the Phoenix Saga in issues 95-108. Then when Dark Phoenix hit in issues 129-137, it melted minds with its awesomeness. Dark Phoenix wasn’t a multiple personality disorder of Jean, it’s a cosmic force that eats planets. If you have a Marvel Unlimited subscription, these issues are almost required reading if you’re an X-Men fan.
Marvel Studios is embracing the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe in their films. Aside from Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s been setting up a cosmic showdown by introducing Thanos in The Avengers and the Infinity Stones in Thor: The Dark World. Deciding to embrace the fantastical nature of comic books doesn’t seem to be hurting Marvel at the box office, so maybe it’s time for Fox to do the same and give us a true adaptation of Dark Phoenix.
Rumors are saying that X-Men: Apocalypse will introduce younger versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey. This could open the door to a Dark Phoenix saga adaptation. Where Apocalypse will technically be the third movie in the “First Class” trilogy, the movie after it could kick off a three-movie story arc that will lead to the Dark Phoenix.
This time they could acknowledge that Phoenix is a cosmic force. Sure Fox likely can’t use races such as the Kree in their X-Men movies, but I’m pretty sure that they have the rights to the Shi’ar as well as Cyclops’ father Corsair and the Starjammers. A 5,000 year old blue-skinned mutant isn’t a huge leap from aliens and a planet-eating cosmic force, and Fox would be smart to embrace that side of the X-Men especially after what Marvel will be doing with Thanos and the third Avengers installment.
Hopefully Fox gives comic fans a real adaptation of Dark Phoenix. As Marvel Studios has shown, it’s time we leave the “street level” adaptations of comic stories behind and embrace epic stories we’ve seen the comic books.