20th Century Fox just released an advertisement for Dark Phoenix, the last installment of the X-Men from Fox, with a clear reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The promotional for the upcoming movie, as well as a shout-out for the Fox dubbed X-Men Day, is a yearbook featuring X-Men characters who have appeared in the franchise over the many years. We get the X-Men: First Class characters, the characters of Days of Future Past, and the characters recently introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse.
We even get to see Deadpool in the promotional material. He is listed as the Hall Monitor.
But the reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes when they focus in on Anna Paquin’s Marie D’Ancanto aka Rogue. Below her photo she reveals her favorite movie and it is none other than Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel.
Although it’s a fourth wall break for the character to reference a film in the MCU, it’s also a funny dig at the comic book history of the two super-powered females.
The promo also has fun with Jean Grey listing her favorite TV show as Game of Thrones and Kitty Pryde’s favorite film being Juno (as the actors for both roles have been main characters in each of their respective “favorites”)
More Than Just an Easter Egg
In the comics, Rogue absorbs the powers of Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, during one of her missions for Mystique. During the scuffle with the Kree/human warrior, Rogue absorbs not only her powers, but her psyche. This leaves Carol Danvers an almost empty shell. For the bulk of the 90’s run of X-Men, Danvers is out of commission while Rogue is employing most of her abilities in flight, super-strength, and invulnerability. All the while doing her best to keep her sanity with two psyches fighting for control.
The film depiction of Rogue was a far cry from the comic book version. The Anna Paquin character served more as a shattered teen, fearful of what her powers could do to others. This power was used more to exploit the teen rather than empower her, and it felt like a disservice to the Rogue we all knew from the comics.
It’s then doubly amusing that the promo lists Rogue’s abilities as power and memory absorption. The films featuring the character have only highlighted the former rather than the latter.
We May Never Get to See Comic Book Rogue on Screen
In a twitter reply to her fans about the possibility of playing Rogue again back in 2015, Anna Paquin talked about playing a much different version of the character than the one we saw on screen.
@AnnaPaquinFans no I’m saying that comic book rogue gets to fly and I never did. I want to be badass rogue not shy teen rogue
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) April 19, 2015
Former X-Men director Bryan Singer didn’t want cast members reading the source material on set. He feared it would ruin the vision and versions of the characters he had for the film. Now that Paquin is liberated from the set, it looks like she has been getting caught up on the character history and understands the dynamic nature of Rogue’s character.
Having taken a closer look at the video, I find it curious that the promotional material for Dark Phoenix would tease Deadpool, Wolverine, Rogue, and Colossus. All of whom are apparently not appearing in the film or at least not expected to be heavily featured.
Another MCU Reference
The X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer also features a little easter egg duly noted by comic book nerds earlier this year. The X-Men and Magneto’s Brotherhood have been captured by a number of guards and are transporting them via train. The train rattles and Magneto states, “She’s coming.” And as the soldiers prepare for what’s next, their arm bands read MCU. It might be a subtle nod to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Mouse House, who are now owners of the franchise going forward. Although it’s more meant to be an acronym for the Mutant Control Unit.
See the clip here:
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been mentioned by the Fox franchise a few times before. Deadpool/Ryan Reynolds in his films often references the other franchise. Josh Brolin/Cable in Deadpool 2 is called out as Thanos. And of course, this references Brolin’s role as the Mad Titan in the recent Avengers: Infinity War/ Endgame films.
And in the promotional material for Once Upon a Deadpool, Reynolds’ character has a back and forth with Fred Savage about the differences between the two film studios. Savage even called Fox the suckier version of the two franchises.
It’s hard to tell at this point what it could mean for the Fox films going foward. And since the Fox/Disney deal is already done, we could certainly see more of it. Could the New Mutants also start intermingling with the MCU franchise? Is Deadpool 3, a film Reynolds talked about being in the works, going to lean more into the Marvel Cinematic Universe rather than on the Fox mutant franchise?
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