EXCLUSIVE: As X-Men: Dark Phoenix continues to get hammered at the box office, the original Dark Phoenix creator has finally responded to critics.
Chris Claremont, who wrote the original comic in 1980 and served as a writer on the Dark Phoenix movie, appeared on Popcorn Talk Network’s Marvel Movie News and shared his true thoughts on the film.
“It’s complicated,” started Claremont, before saying the deck was stacked against the movie from the start. “The film, especially in terms of when it was released and what it was released against, ended up as the third leg of what is actually a, a quartet of major Marvel releases this year.”
Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame each had big releases prior to Dark Phoenix, and the next Spiderman movie comes out in a couple weeks.
“Suddenly it’s boom, boom, boom, boom instead of a single boom,” said Claremont. “It’s just that in just sheer weight of numbers, what did X-Men: Dark Phoenix have? It had Sophie [Turner]. And what did Avengers have? Twenty-eight A-list stars.”
The biggest issue the movie faced according to Claremont, is that they tried to force too much into one movie instead of having two. The original comic had the Phoenix Saga, and the Dark Phoenix Saga, which is how Claremont wanted it split.
“The first part you would fall in love, I’m presume. This is my presumption. You would be introduced to Jean and Scott and the team. You would fall in love with her as he does,” said Claremont of the first film. And in movie two, “you would sit on the edge of your seat as she went through all the events that, that lead her to become Dark Phoenix.”
Claremont said he loved Sophie Turner’s portrayal of Jean, and thought the other actors did an incredible job. In a perfect world, he would just set the movie up better to succeed.
“Is it an ideal? No,” admitted Claremont. “I mean, if I wanted to be an idealist, I would say, you know, set me and John [Byrne] down. I’ll write, I’ll write the outline of the screenplay, he’ll write the storyboards and take it from there. But that’s not reality anywhere along the line in, in LA.”
Dark Phoenix has made over $205 million globally, with only $53 million of that coming in the United States. It cost $200 million to make.
Claremont just hopes this isn’t his last comic book movie.
“I want my phone to ring and Kevin [Feige] to say, ‘come on out. Let’s talk,” said a hopeful Claremont, who then revealed what film he really wants to work on. “Gambit would be fun.”
For the full interview and Claremont’s full thoughts on Dark Phoenix, as well as the upcoming season of Legion, click on the video!