The crazy opening credits aside, X-Men: Apocalypse was not very good. Coming on the heels of the surprisingly enjoyable X-Men: Days of Future Past, and made in large part by the same filmmaking team, it represented a big step back for Fox’s Marvel franchise. How did the same crew that made Days of Future Past such a delight make Apocalypse such a slog?

Some of that crew offered a few explanations to Entertainment Weekly. Apocalypse writer/producer Simon Kinberg had this to say:

I think we took our eye off what has always been the bedrock of the franchise which is these characters. It became about global destruction and visual effects over emotion and character.

Producer Hutch Parker added “It’s always dangerous if your script is evolving while you’re shooting. Certainly, in hindsight, we all feel like the genre has been evolving aesthetically and tonally and that the film didn’t.” Who could have predicted making a movie without a finished script could backfire?!

This raises a question: Which kind of X-Men movie is going to show up in X-Men: Dark Phoenix? The good, fun, character-driven kind, or the bad, boring, effects-driven kind? Director Bryan Singer is gone, but Kinberg is still around, and now he’s director as well. He told EW he’s got a different focus on this film. “One of the things I went into this film wanting to do is obviously focus on the characters and give them real emotions to play and come up with a theme that would make it feel relevant and necessary in today’s world,” he said.

I hope he’s right. Otherwise, this could be this version of the X-Men’s last stand in theaters for a while. X-Men: Dark Phoenix opens in theaters on November 2, 2018.

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