X2: X-MEN UNITED Writer Zak Penn Says The Dark Phoenix Saga Almost Made It Into The Movie

Screenwriter Zak Penn has contributed to the stories of some pretty iconic movies, and one of them, in particular, would be very different without his input. Hit the jump for more on the story behind X2...

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It's no secret that Fox has been aching to do the Dark Phoenix storyline in an X-Men film for a long time. Many fans feel that X-Men: The Last Stand didn't do the source material justice, and there are some concerns about how next year's X-Men: Dark Phoenix will turn out.

However, we almost got a taste of this storyline even earlier than this, as writer Zak Penn recently said that the original plan for X2: X-Men United was to include Jean Grey's transformation into Phoenix.

Penn, who shares a story credit on the X-Men sequel with David Hayter and director Bryan Singer, recently talked with The Hollywood Reporter to promote his new film, Ready Player One. In the interview, he discussed some of his past work, and shed some light on the process behind X2. Penn says:

"On X2, part of how I ended up getting the job on it was that originally that was going to be the Phoenix story. I just said ... 'you've built up this real universe and you should establish it more before you go into Phoenix."

"It was too soon to go into the Phoenix story and it was too soon to get cosmic. I would say that's probably the biggest contribution I made was pushing it in that direction. There are a bunch of scenes I wrote that are still in there. I don't remember what movie I left to do while they were making X-Men 2, but that was kind of the story of my life. I would come in and do something and then leave."

X2 ended up being praised as one of the best comic book movies of the era, so hindsight definitely makes it seem like focusing on Stryker and the fragile alliance between Magneto and Xavier was the right decision.

Given the fact that there have been some behind the scenes problems with Dark Phoenix and that 15 years later Fox still hasn't released a proper adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga, the direction Singer ended up taking with X2 looks even smarter.

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