TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - July 26, 2018
There has been no shortage of drama surrounding the last two X-Men films that Fox produced before being sold to Disney, but it's starting to reach a fever pitch. Initial reports surrounding both X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants was that they were troubled and needed some major reshoots to fix their myriad problems. A new set of rumors, however, indicates that once the deal to send Fox's properties to Disney is complete, the Mouse House intends to dump both films and ensure they never see the light of day.
Now, these are just rumors and should all be taken with a grain of salt, but they're worth reporting as they line up with most of what we've been hearing all along. First up, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is—according to sources who have seen the film—a "disaster with phoned-in performances," which isn't too terribly surprising considering that most of the main cast of the First Class reboot has been on cruise control since Apocalypse.
Jennifer Lawrence looked like she wanted to be anywhere else on planet earth for most of that film's run time, and I don't imagine it's gotten any better in the interim. Similarly, Michael Fassbender seemed to be growing weary of Magneto's flaky nature where he goes from hero to villain and back again—or sometimes vice versa—over the first three films in the series. Rather than sink even more money into fixing these problems, it would make sense for Disney to just bury the thing and write it off wholesale.
The New Mutants is a different animal altogether, with its own set of problems, all of them seeming to do with them not knowing what kind of film they wanted to make in the first place. Apparently the initial idea was to make an R-rated film tonally in line with Deadpool, but told from the perspective of teenagers exploding with mutations and puberty. This was scrapped when The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone was hired and he reversed the course of the film, wanting to make it much more in line with a horror film.
Following a series of disastrous test screenings, the studio determined that a serious retooling of the film was necessary. Apparently Boone had cracked under the pressures of mounting a big budget production—not unlike another famous Josh, Trank, who tanked his reputation on 2015's Fant4stic—and was more or less removed from the production before those reshoots happened.
One positive to come out of those reshoots is the alleged addition of Dafne Keen's X-23 from last year's Logan, whose presence would help further tie the film to the larger X-Men world. However, with the film now on the chopping block, it's said that they're looking for a way to bring her into X-Force, which would be the focus of the third Deadpool film.
So, who knows what's actually happening, but it's clear that these two films were doomed from the very beginning. It doesn't seem likely that they'll ever see the light of day, though perhaps Disney will add them to their upcoming streaming service as a way to boost subscribers. Any way you slice it, it doesn't look good for either film and any release they get will make them more curiosities than actual event films. As always, we'll keep you posted on any news that comes in regarding the future of either film.