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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

An early version of Dark Phoenix was so much like Captain Marvel that it even had the Skrulls

Illustration for article titled An early version of Dark Phoenix was so much like Captain Marvel that it even had the Skrulls
Image: Marvel Studios

Late last month, we heard that the entire ending of X-Men: Dark Phoenix was reshot because it was supposedly too similar to some other superhero movie, with the common theory being that a sequence of Phoenix Force-powered Jean Grey wrecking spaceships was scrapped because it felt too much like the scene in Captain Marvel where Carol Danvers shredded the Kree armada with her own flashy energy blasts. Apparently, though, the similarities to Captain Marvel actually went much further than that in an early version of the script, with Tye Sheridan (who plays Cyclops) revealing that Jessica Chastain’s mysterious villain was originally supposed to be a Skrull—as in, the very same shape-shifting alien race that appeared in Captain Marvel.


Sherdian dropped that surprising bit of news on Cinema Blend’s ReelBlend podcast (via The Playlist), saying that he has a hard time remembering what the actual ending of the movie is because it went through so many iterations. In the finished film, Chastain’s character is revealed to be Vuk, the leader of an alien race called the D’Bari (apparently Lilandra of the Shi’ar was busy?), which is the kind deflating twist that makes you wonder why Fox kept her identity a secret in the first place. However, if Sheridan is right and the filmmakers weren’t even sure what to do with her for a while, it does make that a bit more understandable.

As for the Skrull twist, Sheridan says that particular version of the story would’ve ended at the U.N. with Cyclops and Professor X asking for help from the world’s governments against a mysterious alien race. Then Jean Grey would’ve shown up to telepathically beat the shit out of some guards, all of whom would’ve be revealed to be Skrulls, and then she would single-handedly save the day from the Skrulls and blast off into space to live her life as the immortal Phoenix. The Skrulls are a fairly big deal in the Marvel universe, which is why it was such a shock when we heard they’d be in Captain Marvel, but explaining what the Skrulls are and what the Phoenix is probably would’ve been a lot for Dark Phoenix to take on even without the similarities to another movie.

Of course, it’s not like they could’ve done much to make Dark Phoenix’s opening weekend any worse, so maybe leaning into the obvious Captain Marvel parallels would’ve been a better idea. All they’d need is a cat and No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” and maybe the movie could’ve made more money than Secret Life Of Pets 2.