DARK PHOENIX Director Simon Kinberg On The Difficulties Of Turning A Two-Part Story Into A Single Film
Dark Phoenix bombed at the box office and was a critical flop, and director Simon Kinberg has now addressed what went wrong with the movie and whether there's a "Kinberg Cut" featuring his original vision.
A week ago, we learned that Zack Snyder's Justice League will debut on HBO Max next year, and we've since heard a lot about other possible Director's Cuts (Suicide Squad, for example). However, those of you hoping for a "Kinberg Cut" of Dark Phoenix are likely to be sorely disappointed.
During a recent chat with IGN, director Simon Kinberg was asked whether his original vision for Fox's final X-Men film is something we could one say see as it's no secret it underwent major changes with reshoots. The filmmaker acknowledged that it's unlikely to happen (try, "never going to happen"), and explained that the main problem was taking a two-part idea and cramming it into a single film.
"The movie they released was ultimately my vision for the film," Kinberg explained. "That vision did change over the span of making the movie. There are other scenes that we shot, just as there are a lot of other scenes in [Days of Future Past] that we shot and didn't end up using. There were scenes we shot for that film and an ending that was quite different than the ending that was in the theatrical release."
"To release [a Kinberg Cut], it wouldn't be just be like we splice those scenes back in, because those scenes were never completed because of visual effects and sound - all of the technical aspects that go into completing films of this scale. It would take a whole lot of work, but I appreciate the support."
"With every movie, there are things you wish you did differently," he continued, reflecting on Dark Phoenix's failings. "On every movie there are things you thought were great and perfect, and then you watch them and didn't think they were as strong as you imagined and you go a different way. Dark Phoenix was a hard movie because, in its initial concept when I wrote it, it was meant to be a two-part film. And then it suddenly became a one-part movie for reasons that weren't of my doing. Having to create around that massive change was a challenge in itself. All these movies are uniquely challenging."
He concluded by saying, "When you're making a film as a writer, it's never the same as when you conceived it. And when you make a film as a director, it's never the same as what you shot. In that case it's probably more significantly different. But ultimately, I was happy with the cut... that we shot and edited and completed."
It definitely would have been interesting to see how much Dark Phoenix would have differed had the story been given room to breathe over two movies, while we know a lot of cosmic elements were removed and replaced with that train sequence. Ultimately, however, it was a big mistake of Fox's to put the franchise in Kinberg's hands, as he clearly struggled as a first-time director.
Are you rooting for a "Kinberg Cut" of the critically panned X-Men movie?