by Thomas Bacon
Nov 10, 2019
Legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont has just explained how he’d bring the X-Men into the MCU. For the unfamiliar, Claremont is undoubtedly one of the most important comic book writers of all time. He’s best known for his 16-year run on the X-Men franchise, which spanned from 1975 to 1991, and radically reshaped Marvel’s merry mutants.
Claremont was responsible for some of the X-Men’s most important stories. He broadened the X-Men’s world, even taking them on cosmic adventures alongside space pirates like the Starjammers; he transformed Jean Grey into Phoenix, and then Dark Phoenix; and he turned Wolverine into the mutant legend he is today, writing many of the most iconic and unforgettable Wolverine stories of all time.
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Surprisingly, though, in an interview with Newsarama Claremont has revealed that – in his view – the key to the X-Men work is to return to the Dark Phoenix Saga once again. That will come as a surprise to viewers who thought they’d seen enough Phoenix raptors on the big screen – but there’s method to Claremont’s madness.
Why Fox’s Dark Phoenix Saga(s) Didn’t Scratch The Surface
Fox has attempted to tell their version of the Dark Phoenix Saga twice; in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, and in this year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix. The first was a disappointment to say the least, with one of the X-Men’s most famous stories relegated to a subplot alongside an arc about a mutant cure; it came close to killing off the entire film franchise. The second was a critical and box office failure, heavily adapted in reshoots to avoid being too similar to Captain Marvel, and it grossed just $252.4 million worldwide – the worst-performing X-Men film of all time. In spite of that, though, Claremont still feels the Dark Phoenix Saga is the story to tell.
Claremont doesn’t feel there’s any need to worry about the prospect of repeating a story that’s been done before – because, frankly, he doesn’t feel that the Fox movies have explored the story’s potential in the slightest. “All the characters and the stories that Dave Cockrum and John Byrne and Paul Smith and I told,” he explains, “the surface and structure have barely been touched.” Part of the problem, he notes, is that nobody expected comic book adaptations to become so big. As a result, many of Fox’s X-Men movies are tentative, hesitant to really exploit their comic inspiration. “My problem with both iterations of Dark Phoenix onscreen,” Claremont observes, “is, I don’t think you can do it effectively in 90 minutes.” He’s undeniably got a point; the Claremont era was famous for its ongoing narratives, which sometimes ran for years before they came to fruition. Under Claremont’s watch, the X-Men became seen as a sort of superhero soap opera, where you really couldn’t miss any issue. He was aware that there could be first-time readers picking up a given issue, but it …read more
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