This is the first X-Men film to not feature or reference either Logan/Wolverine or the actor that portrays him, Hugh Jackman. This is because Jackman retired from the role, which he portrayed since X-Men (2000). He was briefly featured in Deadpool 2 (2018) through reused and stock footage from X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).
Mystique and Magneto were not originally intended to appear as Jennifer Lawrence implied in several interviews that she was done with playing Mystique, though she said in an interview that she had a change of heart as she didn't want fans to be confused if her character got the 'Chuck Cunningham Syndrome treatment'. This is a reference to Happy Days (1974) in which the older brother of Richie ( Ron Howard ) simply disappeared from the show.
Director Simon Kinberg has stated that he cut a good deal of the original storyline of the Dark Phoenix to focus more on ending the storyline that originally began in X-Men: First Class (2011) and focus more on Jean's character for the film. As such the elements of the Hellfire Club and the alien race known Shi'ar and their Shi'ar Empire from the original comic book storyline were removed from the film adaption to cut down on unnecessary sub-plots. Members of the Hellfire Club such as Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost previously appeared in X-Men: First Class (2011).
This film, The New Mutants (2020), and Deadpool 2 (2018) were filmed around the same time with New Mutants filmed in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, Deadpool 2 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Dark Phoenix in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
While the film was released in the US as just Dark Phoenix, it was released internationally as X-Men: Dark Phoenix. This is presumably to more clearly market the film as a sequel similar to Logan which was released in some international markets as Logan: The Wolverine and to X2: X-Men United which was released internationally as just X-Men 2.
The role of Vuk was first offered to Angelina Jolie who passed before Jessica Chastain accepted it. Jolie passed the role because she was more interested in playing the titular character in Bill Condon's Bride of Frankenstein project before Universal put it on hold. Interestingly, they were the only names considered by the studio, both were suggested by James McAvoy due to his working relationship with them. As a gesture of thanks and returning the favor, Chastain recommended McAvoy to her friend, producer Barbara Muschetti and her brother, IT: Chapter 2 director Andy Muschetti for the lead role of the Losers' Club Bill Denbrough.
Jessica Chastain was assumed by virtually everyone, from media outlets to fans, to be playing Lilandra after it was announced she was playing the Big Bad of the film, but it was never explicitly stated to be the case by Fox, which led to Chastain herself revealing that she wasn't the character over social media.
One of the songs playing on the car radio that young Jean Grey telekinetically changes is "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" by Glen Campbell, which of course hugely foreshadows what is going to happen to her.
In January 2018, Fox removed their other X-Men Universe film, The New Mutants from April 6th, 2018 and pushed it back to February 15th, 2019. But in March 2018, due to Fox also removing X-Men: Dark Phoenix's release of November 2nd, 2018, The New Mutants was yet again pushed back to August 2nd, 2019 as X-Men: Dark Phoenix was to take the February 15th, 2019 spot, because of it completing post production first, after both films early 2018 reshoots.
At one point the producers were considering the movie not to give a theatrical release. At one time the executives were going to release it in "direct to DVD" format, as well as "direct to streaming" service release.
Like other comic book movies Superman III (1983). Spider-Man 3 (2007) and and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): The film is about a superhero succumbing to his or her dark side and turning evil. This is the 2nd X-Men movie which Jean Grey succumbs to her dark side and transforms into Dark Phoenix.
The second helicopter that flew very close to Magneto and Jean at his compound was actually rigged with two crane arms on a line, deleted in post production, that could hold and support more than 4000 pounds.
The film released before Fox's other X-Men Universe film, The New Mutants (2020). Unlike Dark Phoenix's original release date where the film was to release 7 months after The New Mutants's original April 6th, 2018 release date.
Reprising her role as Mystique for this film, marks the second time that Jennifer Lawrence has played a character for the fourth time in a franchise. She played Katniss Everdeen four times in The Hunger Games series as well.
During a podcast, director/screenwriter Simon Kinberg took responsibility for the movie's negative critical reception, stating that he was to blame for the fact that audiences could not connect with the film. However, he pointed mostly at Disney for the film's commercial failure, stating that it was their decision to release it just weeks after Avengers: Endgame (2019). Furthermore, in the wake of the Disney-Fox merger, lay-offs in the Fox marketing team led to serious delays in advertisement; when Disney finally took over marketing duties, only two months of advertisement remained before the release, where ten months would be standard.
The first live action appearance of Dazzler. Bo Derek was set to play her in a film based on the character back in the 1980s with Gary Goddard writing the film and John Derek directing, and Canadian country singer Beverley Mahood was rumoredto appear as her in X-Men: The Last Stand in a cameo, while Bryan Singer wanted Sigourney Weaver for the role. Singer did an April Fool's Day prank that singer and songwriter Lady Gaga has been as Dazzler in X-Men: Days of Future Past'. A scene for X-Men: Apocalypse was shot where Dazzler is seen on a record album's cover that Scott Summers and Jean Grey purchase in a music store, which was cut from the final release, and Sophie Turner did hint that Taylor Swift was cast in the role at that time.
It's rumored that Dark Phoenix will be the final installment of the X-Men film franchise and that the X-Men film franchise will be rebooted. In early 2018 it was announced Disney had bought 20th Century Fox and that the X-Men will be brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney also owns Marvel Studios.
According to director Simon Kinberg the original intimate climax only featured the characters played by James McAvoy, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, and Jessica Chastain.The original ending was division between Charles and Scott with the rest of the X-Men over Jean Grey. But one by one, the other X-Men side with Charles, and by the end, it's just Scott by himself. After watching it with audiences during test screenings, he decided to change the ending.
The special team that captures the mutants near the end are called the Mutants Control Agency in the comics, but the patches on their shoulders actually read 'MCU'. This may be an in-joke to the fact that Disney bought 20th Century Fox in 2019, meaning that the X-Men will probably be absorbed into Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe in the near future.
At the end of the movie, Professor Xavier and Magneto meet for a chess game at a Parisian cafe named "Les Vieux Copains" meaning "Old buddies", apparently located on the "Rue de la Paix" literally the "street of Peace".
At the end of the film, the X-Mansion is renamed Jean Grey's School for Gifted Youngsters. In the comics, the school was renamed the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, done by Wolverine who had briefly taken over as head of the school.
The D'Bari in the movie claim that their world was destroyed by the same force that turned Jean Grey into the Dark Phoenix, and they try to recruit her in the hope of using her power to create new worlds. In the comics, the D'Bari are seeking revenge against Jean because she destroyed their home planet while being possessed by the Phoenix. Also, their leader Vuk (Jessica Chastain) is male in the comics.
According to actor Tye Sheridan the original climax was set at the United Nations in New York City. Sheridan's Cyclops and McAvoy's Professor X head to the U.N. to warn the American president that aliens have invaded earth. But the U.N guards turn out to be Skrulls and attacks them. Then Jean Grey comes down in the front of the U.N. basically fights all of the Skrulls off, and then blasts back off into space. She basically says goodbye to Scott and Charles. And then it's all over.
Magneto's simple community where he lives with several other mutants isn't named in the movie, but it is clearly inspired by the mutant city of Genosha from the comics, where it became a large and technologically advanced home for millions of refugee mutants.
This movie likely prompted the definitive return of Jean Grey in the comics 15 years after her death in "X-Men #150". During this time, she appeared sporadically in Phoenix-related arcs and was replaced by her younger, time-displaced counterpart. Jean returned in the "Phoenix Resurrection" saga and as of 2018 stars in "X-Men Red" as the team's leader.
This is the third film in the X-Men film franchise in which Jean Grey becomes Phoenix. In X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) returned as Phoenix after she remained behind to allow the X-Jet to take flight and escape a flood of water, drowning her in X2: X-Men United (2003). She also became the Phoenix at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) .
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook (2012) beat out her co-star in this film, Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty (2012) to win Best Actress at the 2013 Academy Awards. They do not share any screen time in this film, but both of their characters try to influence Jean Grey, and are eventually killed off by her.