'X-Men' Producer on Phoenix Saga Rumors and Making Up for 'The Last Stand'

Simon Kinberg says he wouldn't be daunted by the budget if he is chosen to direct: "I've been around movies of this scale for over a decade now."
Courtesy of Photofest
Sophie Turner as Jean Grey in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

The Dark Phoenix Saga is expected to make its way back to the big screen, with longtime X-Men writer-producer Simon Kinberg considered the top contender to step into the director's chair for 20th Century Fox.

Kinberg, who insists reports that he will direct are "premature," told Heat Vision on the carpet for a New York premiere of Logan that he does have a few thoughts on how things could go.

"I'm a huge fan of The Dark Phoenix story, and I felt like there was a lot that we didn't do in X-Men: The Last Stand, which was based on the Phoenix story. [Things] that if we were so lucky to get another chance, we would do differently," Kinberg said.

Kinberg co-wrote wrote 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, which saw director Bryan Singer exit the director's chair and Brett Ratner take his place. It made moves such as Jean Grey/Phoenix (Famke Janssen) killing Prof. X (Patrick Stewart) and Cyclops (James Marsden), with Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) eventually killing Phoenix to stop her rampage. The film was so controversial that 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past (also written by Kinberg) essentially erased it from the X-Men movie timeline. 

In the comics, a space-adventure aspect was a key part of the Dark Phoenix Saga, while The Last Stand was Earthbound. The classic comics storyline sees Jean become the host for the Phoenix Force, a cosmic entity that eventually drives her to becoming a destructive force that ultimately leads to her death. 

Kinberg has never directed, but says if he were to step into the job, he wouldn't be daunted by the scope and budget of an X-Men movie for a first project. 

"I've been around movies of this scale for over a decade now. The first movie I ever worked on was Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It's five X-Men movies in, and there's The Martian. I've been around big movies," he said. "To me, what would be new about directing would be having more creative control than I do, as I did as a writer, and even as I do as a writer-producer."

Regardless if he directs, Kinberg already has a full plate as a producer. He is in casting mode for Deadpool 2 and doing prep on X-Men spinoff The New Mutants.

Sophie Turner played Jean Grey in last summer's X-Men: Apocalypse and is expected to reprise the role. 

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