Dark Phoenix is being advertised as an X-Men fan’s worst nightmare, quite literally by Comcast Cable. This year’s long-awaited movie of the iconic comic saga turned out to be a critical and box office failure that altered fundamental aspects of the story, effectively killing any chance the saga had of continuing in its current form and leaving the five-episode retelling of the story shown in the ‘90s X-Men animated series as its adaptation highlight.
The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the most famous and highly regarded storylines of X-Men’s entire history, but the production of its adaptation was troubled from the beginning. It was initially intended as a two-part film, with the first half dedicated to making audiences sympathize with Jean (Sophie Turner) and so better feel the tragedy of what happens to her, but when the studio decided the story should be condensed into a single film, writer and first-time director Simon Kinberg struggled to make the necessary changes. Lengthy post-production and reshoots, in particular an entirely reworked third act and climax, didn’t help the picture audiences were forming of the film, while a delayed release, poor advertising and having to follow in the wake of the seminal Logan as a sign off for the franchise all led to an experience that was likely doomed before anyone actually went to watch it.
A photo of Dark Phoenix’s listing in Xfinity’s guide was posted to the Twitter of artist and cartoonist Adam Reck, showing a brief synopsis describing the film as “An X-Men fan’s worst nightmare,” referencing the gross mishandling of such a beloved storyline, and a sentiment that many viewers likely share. There aren’t many films in the series you can consider a worse experience, and with X-Men: The Last Stand having already failed to bring the story of Jean and the Phoenix Force to life in any meaningful way, you would have expected a literal second chance to have allowed those behind the films to have learned from their previous mistakes.
This is the actual way that Xfinity is advertising #DarkPhoenix
The brusque comment about the quality of Dark Phoenix isn’t the only time a film was provided with a snarky rejoinder by Xfinity. The listing of Avengers: Endgame is headed by the statement of “Spidey’s boot from the MCU is way worse than any villain,” while the experience of Toy Story is described as “Relive your childhood or cry trying.”
While it might be hyperbole to declare Dark Phoenix to be the “worst nightmare” of a fan of the X-Men (least of all because X-Men Origins: Wolverine exists), such an abysmal adaptation of an acclaimed story certainly remains a huge disappointment for many fans of both the comics and the film series. Since New Mutants is being continually distanced from the franchise it will most likely remain the disappointing cinematic swan song of the mutant world’s tumultuous life at Fox.