WandaVision rules out a Dark Phoenix MCU (& that’s a good thing)

WandaVision It almost certainly means that the MCU won’t adjust the plot of X-Men Dark Phoenix, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Starting in 1976, the Dark Phoenix saga of the X-Men comics is one of Marvel’s most beautiful moments. In the arch, Jean Gray, Charles Xavier’s powerful psychic apprentice, inherits the mysterious Phoenix power during a mission, only for that otherworldly energy to corrupt the superhero and create a tragic rift within the ranks of the X-Men. The footage was adapted for the film while Fox held the X-Men rights, but now Xavier’s School for the Gifted is tightly under Disney jurisdiction, and Mutantkind is destined for the MCU sooner or later.

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For now, however, there is a more immediate threat to the Marvel Universe. WandaVision marks the MCU’s first foray into the Disney + streaming arena, and as season one picks up the intensity, it’s clear that the creepy sitcom Wanda Maximoff (in the real world at least) is a runaway hit. Many, many questions still remain open, but WandaVision viewers know that Scarlet Witch used her magical abilities to hijack an entire city and turn its idyllic life into a TV show, while SWORD is unfortunately trying to resolve the situation outside of Wanda’s Westview- Solve barrier.

See also: WandaVision: Monica’s Captain Marvel reaction confirms a follow-up issue

WandaVision could have a huge impact on the MCU landscape when it comes to opening up the multiverse or introducing a new overarching bad guy like Mephisto. However, the Disney + show could also dictate which storylines can be tweaked for the X-Men when Professor X and the gang finally arrive.

How similar WandaVision and Dark Phoenix are

wandaVision Episode 3 Scarlet Witch the Vision

Disney +’s WandaVision is not directly based on any particular comic, but while Westview is largely uncharted territory for Marvel, WandaVision is clearly indebted to the X-Men Dark Phoenix saga. First, the two main characters are closely comparable, with Wanda and Jean Gray both being powerful female superheroes with intellectual abilities. Although Wanda’s magic is not identical to the ESP mutant used by Jean Gray, the two women are equally capable of levitating objects, casting illusions, and invading the minds of others, making their superpowers similar, if not even, in practice in mythology, will. Scarlet Witch and Phoenix also share a predilection for the color red.

Aside from the characters, WandaVision also leans heavily on the overarching story of the Dark Phoenix saga. In the X-Men story, Jean Gray is already a powerful, potentially flammable heroine who the other mutants have to keep under lock and key, otherwise their abilities threaten to take over. After Jean is obsessed with the strange Phoenix power, her psychological efficiency multiplies and takes on a life of its own, corrupting Xavier’s once noble protégé. Interestingly, it is the “death” of Cyclops’ mental image that triggers Jean’s change from the regular phoenix to the evil dark phoenix. After losing control and compromising morale, Jean suddenly becomes an enemy of the X-Men (and their only true love, Cyclops) rather than an ally.

WandaVision takes up Avengers: Endgame, and Wanda Maximoff mourns the death of Vision by Thanos. Much like Jean Gray, the Avengers always carefully treated the Scarlet Witch because of the hidden potential of her red magic, and Jean’s echo is also an outside influence that triggers Wanda’s descent. While WandaVision has not yet revealed the true origin of the Westview anomaly, there is ample evidence that someone or something is tampering with Wanda. As the Phoenix Troop did to Jean, this unknown quantity gave Wanda more power, but it also appears to jeopardize her ethics as the Scarlet Witch cruelly pulls the strings of every single resident of the city. With her control waning and her morale compromised, Wanda suddenly becomes an enemy of SWORD (and her only true love, Vision) rather than an ally.

Related: WandaVision makes Endgames deleted post-credits scene Canon

Why, after WandaVision, the MCU can no longer make a dark phoenix

WandaVision Episode 5 - Scarlet Witch and Sword

When the MCU is finally done with the introduction of the X-Men, the first task will be to incorporate mutants into the existing film universe and introduce the various famous faces from Xavier’s School. Inevitably, there will be a core feud between Professor X and Magneto, and Wolverine’s extensive backstory will require some explanation as well. When the admin stage is complete, Kevin Feige will be looking for X-Men comic book stories worth bringing to the big screen, and as the most famous of them all, the Dark Phoenix saga is always controversial. But WandaVision hits so many of the same beats that an MCU version of Jean Grey’s Phoenix story could only ever feel like a remake of Wanda Maximoff’s solo series.

Jean Grey’s parentage works so well in comic book form because readers are shocked when a hero falls so spectacularly from grace because of his own incredible power. An MCU Dark Phoenix movie would take the risk of falling flat as that shock factor has now been spent on Scarlet Witch. For the most part, Wanda keeps her Happy-Go-Lucky sitcom facade, but the few scenes she breaks character in have big ones with fans who are used to finding Elizabeth Olsen’s character in the Avengers films Caused a response. Whether Wanda’s scowl when she throws Monica Rambeau out of Westview, or the way she fearlessly faces the entire group of SWORD soldiers, the corruption of the Scarlet Witch is exciting to look at and is very reminiscent of the Dark Phoenix. The same tricks won’t be as exciting when Marvel Studios repeat them with Jean Gray a few years later.

This is especially true now that WandaVision has proven so successful. On previous MCU TV shows (Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil, etc.), the Marvel film franchise has remained cautiously aloof. Conversely, the new series of Disney + footage has quickly become an integral part of MCU mythology and cannot be ignored or replicated.

No dark phoenix in the MCU is a good thing

Fox made two separate attempts to bring Jean Grey’s Dark Phoenix story to screen. X-Men: The Last Stand received bad reviews when it was released in 2006, almost completely derailing the franchise. Dark Phoenix was even worse received in 2019 and ended Fox’s X-Men era with barely a whimper. Marvel Studios would almost certainly customize this material better, and some X-Men fans could look forward to getting a decent Dark Phoenix movie the third time around after Marvel is back in control. The prospect is certainly tempting, but when it comes to superhero films, Dark Phoenix is ​​now a damaged commodity. Not only have audiences seen the same story twice in live action, but that tarnished legacy is baggage the MCU’s X-Men can do without.

Related: Spider-Man: Far From Home Implied anger knew about WandaVision’s Westview

Spider-Man is the only current MCU character with a long history in another studio, and since Tom Holland’s debut, Feige and Co. have carefully avoided recreating the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield films whenever possible. Peter Parker’s origins are completely skipped, famous villains like Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus have yet to emerge, and Peter’s connection with Iron Man adds a new (if somewhat divisive) dimension to MCU Spidey. A third Dark Phoenix film was likely ruled out long before WandaVision just because Marvel Studios did not have a habit of retelling other studios’ films.

In that sense, maybe WandaVision is actually a secret MCU Dark Phoenix adaptation. Kevin Feige likely ruled out another Dark Phoenix film once Fox and Disney signed on the dotted line. However, to avoid wasting perfect source material, the same basic story elements were carried over from Jean Gray to Wanda Maximoff. This allows the MCU to exploit the best elements of Dark Phoenix’s story – the tragedy, the overwhelming power, the sinister hidden influence – in a completely different, almost unrecognizable context. Fortunately, there are plenty of other exciting X-Men comic book adventures for the MCU to adapt to.

More: Marvel confirms when WandaVision is on the MCU timeline

  • Black Widow (2021)Release DATE: May 07, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release DATE: July 09, 2021
  • Eternal (2021)Release DATE: November 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release DATE: December 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release DATE: March 25, 2022
  • Thor: love and thunder (2022)Release DATE: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther 2 (2022)Release DATE: July 08, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release DATE: November 11, 2022

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Craig Elvy
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Craig began contributing to Screen Rant in 2016, a few years after graduating from college, and has since mostly scolded himself in a darkened room. Having previously written for various sports and music companies, Craig soon turned to television and film, where eventually a steady upbringing from science fiction and comic books made itself felt. Craig was previously featured on sites like Den of Geek, and after many hours of coffee-soaked hours hunched over a laptop, part-time evening work eventually turned into a full-time career spanning everything from the zombie apocalypse to the Starship Enterprise over the internet TARDIS. Since joining the Screen Rant group, Craig has been involved in breaking news and slightly controversial ranking lists, but now works primarily as a feature writer. Jim Carrey is Craig’s top actor and favorite subjects are superheroes, anime, and the unrecognized genius of the high school musical trilogy.

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