From Avengers: Endgame to Hellboy, Spider-man: Far from Home and Captain Marvel, fans of superhero movies are spoiled for choice this year with some blockbuster movies heading to theaters in 2019. While DC fans have managed to make Aquaman one of the highest grossing superhero movies of all time, earning over a $1 billion at the box office, Marvel fans are waiting in anticipation to see how the after effects of Thanos’ snap will play out. And while the recent trailers for The Avengers 4, Spider-man and Captain Marvel have got fans drooling, the next X-Men outing is also set to hit theaters in June 2019.
Dark Phoenix, also known as X-Men: Dark Phoenix is intended to be the 12th installment of the X-Men film series and a sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse. The movie sees the gifted lot take on their most powerful foe yet – Jean Grey herself. While exact details of the movie are still up in the air, word has it that during a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious solar flare. While she barely survives, the force starts to take over her as she begins to unleash the Phoenix. Wrestling with this entity causes Jean to spiral out of control and it is up to the X-Men to band together to not only save Jean but to save the planet of evil aliens who plan to rule the galaxy.
As intriguing as this sounds, early reviewers have found the first version of the movie a dull affair. Responses to the test screening have been lukewarm. So much so, in fact, that the release has been pushed back from its expected date in November 2018 to undergo reshoots. Rumour has it that 20th Century Fox wasn’t happy with first-time director Simon Kinberg’s initial cut of the movie, which prompted the reshoots and a pushed back release date.
The first trailer was released on The Late Late Show with James Corden and reviews have been lukewarm, with many saying it is too similar to X-Men: The Last Stand. In addition, the trailer didn’t feature much of the space and alien elements and instead focused on the characters instead of the major selling points of these types of movies – big effects and cool villains. This could prove a risky move as test audiences noted that they were not necessarily interested in this version of the X-Men characters.
The cast is interesting enough, with popular returning actors including James McAvoy as Professor X, Nicholas Hoult who plays Beast, Michael Fassbender who is Magneto, Evan Peters as the Quicksilver character, Jennifer Lawrence as the lovely Mystique, Olivia Munn as Psylocke and Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner as Jean Grey. Other newcomers to join the franchise include Jessica Chastain as a shapeshifting alien, Kota Eberhardt as Selene and Andrew Stehlin as Red Lotus. But a fabulous ensemble cast does not always make for a good movie, and the absence of Wolverine has certainly put a damper on things.
While the new, reshot X-Men movie could fare better with audiences, Dark Phoenix is certainly one of the few Marvel movies that fans do not seem to care about. Perhaps it is the anticipation of bigger movies on the horizon, or maybe it’s the fact that the X-Men franchise is on its way out. Either way, die-hard fans will certainly flock to the theaters to check out the latest installment while the majority of us will probably just wait it out. However, due to the popularity of the film series and the X-Men themselves and after the Hugh Jack’s exit as Wolverine, we might be gifted with TV series or other Playtech super hero themed online slots to tide us over.
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