‘Dark Phoenix’ VFX Supervisor Talks Original Plans For Sophie Turner’s Fiery Transformation

X-Men Dark Phoenix Sophie Turner Disney Fox MCU

During an interview with i09, Dark Phoenix visual effects supervisor Greg Butler discussed the original and fierier plans for Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey transformation.

Although Dark Phoenix was touted as the final installment of the long-running X-Men film series before Marvel Studios reboots the property, it appears few were interested in the movie as it debuted to poor reviews and bombed at the box office. Part of the reason for Dark Phoenix‘s dismal performance is attributed to the frequent changes being made over the course of production and visual effects supervisor Greg Butler discussed how the transformation of Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey’s transformation went through several iterations:

“When we had to have something supernatural happen [that] you couldn’t deny, then we would move up to a stage six or seven where there are visible things happening throughout the frame. The big thing that we realized during development, though, was that finding that balance between groundedness and the supernatural qualities became a challenge. Simon had us test things that would either end up going too far or being too subtle. As we were trying to thread that needle, he would stop the movie and reassign the levels, and then we ended up getting rid of a bunch of the higher levels because we realized that we could up the otherworldliness of things in other ways without pulling focus from Sophie [Turner].”

While a fierier and inhuman version of Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey was considered at one point, the visual effects team and director Simon Kinberg ultimately decided it was best to tone down the character’s physical transformation:

“We never got far along enough in the production process to know whether it was going to look too inhuman and unrealistic or just a full-on distraction in the shot. I don’t even know who made the call to pull back from that, whether it was editorial, or the director, or us just looking at it and asking ourselves “is this really what we’re doing?” At one point, we had 10 shots in a row of dialogue and with the [demolecularization] effect going, good luck trying to follow what Jean’s saying. No matter how it looks, that’s just so much for the audience to have to focus on.

So, instead, we took the [demolecularization] effect and pushed it into the background instead of having it on Jean. What was doing to be happening to her face is happening to the walls instead, for example. The plaster behind her’s pulling apart and reforming because the energy pouring off Jean is manipulating matter on a molecular level.”

Would you have enjoyed seeing Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey fully transform into the Dark Phoenix? Did you enjoy Sophie Turner’s performance as Jean Grey in the film? Let us know below!

Here is the official synopsis for Dark Phoenix:

This is the story of one of the X-Men’s most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic DARK PHOENIX. During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all. Wrestling with this increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet. The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we’ve come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet — one of their own.

Written and directed by Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain.

Dark Phoenix will be available on Digital HD starting September 3rd, 2019, followed by a 4k Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD release on September 17th. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news on Sophie Turner and the future of the X-Men franchise as we learn it.

Source: i09

Sebastian Peris

Sebastian Peris

Canadian film buff, political junkie, comic book geek, and board game enthusiast.