Somewhere in the multiverse, there’s a completely different version of Dark Phoenix we never got to see. In the weeks leading up to the release of 20th Century Fox’s final X-Men film, the cast and crew confirmed that the movie’s entire third act was changed during a period of re-shoots. Whether the original ending would have actually improved the film’s critical reception remains a subject of debate. But thanks to concept artist Houston Sharp, we now have a better idea of what it would have looked like.
Sharp started posting Dark Phoenix concept illustrations to his Instagram account earlier this month. However, it’s his most recent posts that have really piqued fans’ interest. Sharp shared a few illustrations from the movie’s scrapped conclusion. You can check them out for yourself below.
Jean Grey’s fiery aura in the first set of images suggests that the filmmakers almost went with a design that adhered more closely to John Byrne’s depiction in the original Dark Phoenix Saga. But as director Simon Kinberg previously admitted, they wanted to avoid comparisons to Brie Larson’s appearance in Captain Marvel. Cyclops actor Tye Sheridan also revealed that the film’s climax almost featured a fight with the Skrulls, which would have the similarities even more noticeable.
Additionally, Sharp posted a few other illustrations of Jean floating above Earth’s atmosphere. One of these images shows her clad in her X-Men uniform, while the other has her wearing an alternate suit design. Sharp also shared an of Storm fighting Ariki on the streets of New York. Apparently, Ariki was originally intended to sprout tendrils from his bald head before he was given the power to use his dreadlocks as weapons.
View this post on Instagram
This was a concept i did for Storm and Cyclop’s fight against “Medusa Man” in X-Men Dark Phoenix. The director initiialy wanted these skin-covered tendrils coming out of the dude’s bald head. So glad he eventually changed it to dreadlocks instead. @xmenmovies #xmen #darkphoenix #phoenix #sophieturner #jeangrey #storm #cyclops #marvel #fox
What are your thoughts on Houston Sharp’s original Dark Phoenix designs? Should the filmmakers have gone this route regardless of any comparisons to Marvel Studios films? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey