In the original X-Men movie, when Magneto's device


at the end, there is a quick shot of Jean Grey looking sort of stunned as the wave of energy goes through her. No other characters are shown having similar reactions.

When we pick up with Jean and Scott in X-2: X-Men United, Scott and Jean have a conversation about her powers specifically since the Liberty Island incident.

Scott: Jean? You OK?

Jean: Yeah, I'm fine. It's just a headache.

Scott: It's not just a headache, is it? I wasn't sure how to say this, but since Liberty Island you've been...

Jean: Scott.

Scott: You've been different.

Jean: My telepathy's been off lately. I can't focus. I hear everything.

Scott: Jean, it's not just your telepathy. A month ago you had to concentrate just to levitate a book. Now when you have a nightmare the entire bedroom shakes.

Jean: My dreams are getting worse. I keep feeling something terrible's about to happen.

Scott: I would never let anything happen to you.

This, of course, is a foreshadowing of the end of X-2 where

Jean sacrifices herself and we are teased with a vague Phoenix shape in the water in the last frames of the film.

Putting together just these bits, it's not a far stretch to think that Bryan Singer originally intended the energy wave of X-Men to have been some sort of catalyst in the Phoenix Force being drawn to Jean.

Unfortunately, director Bryan Singer abandoned X-Men: The Last Stand early into pre-production and the writing staff changed. In the final version of the third X-Men movie,

the Phoenix is merely a repressed personality of Jean's and not a cosmic force.

In this storyline, to my recollection, it is never stated that the Liberty Island incident helped unlock

the Phoenix personality,

but it is possible.

Has Bryan Singer, or anyone else stated how the Liberty Island incident changed Jean, or how he intended to merge Jean and the Phoenix Force?


1 Answer 1


There is some information about ideas that were considered for the third X-Men movie in this podcast. Found this via this forum post, here's a transcript of the relevant part:

“The idea was that you open up with Alkali Lake but it’s completely barren and dried up and there are these odd reports of strange phenomena going on around the world accompanied by bright lights in the sky.

“The idea would be that both the X-Men and the Brotherhood realise that essentially a very god-like force had entered their reality and that it was causing disruptions around the world, you know mutant prisons being decimated, I had pitched an idea about a fleet of cargo ships getting torn apart in the Atlantic and you found out that they were shuttling mutants as slave labour.

“You found out was that Phoenix was going round the world taking things into her own hands and that she had basically returned as a god, which they did in X3. She had viewed herself as above the conflict, that she was here to end things on her terms, she was sick of the fighting and she was going to take things into her own hands and she did not give a s**t what the X-Men or the Brotherhood had to say about it.

“And ultimately the way it was going to end, at least the version I was pushing for, would be that Phoenix was kind of like the Starchild at the end of 2001, she didn’t just get stabbed and die again, but she kind of chose to leave.

“The one idea that I loved, that I really wanted to do, was that Cyclops would build the Danger Room. He felt guilty that because the X-Men were too weak, they weren’t strong enough or fast enough, that was the reason Jean died. If they were a little bit better at fighting, then she might still be alive. It was all about this guilt he had about her death and he built the Danger Room to train them to be better. In the end it really was about him not being able to let go of her and that causes the chaos and disruption in the movie and in the end it’s about him letting her go.

“Ultimately she kind of becomes that cosmic force that Phoenix is known to be, she leaves Earth and becomes a god or at least a higher level of intelligence and she goes into the cosmos possibly to kick-start life somewhere else. The final scene for me would have been her telling Cyclops or her telling the X-Men ‘I’ll be watching.'”

  • Thanks. I can't listen to the podcast right now, but I'll check it out later. What connection did these guys have to X3? Does this information reflect what Singer's group had planned, or just other things that went around the writing room after they left?
    – phantom42
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 15:08
  • Mike Dougherty (= the guy who talks about these ideas) was a writer on X-Men 2 and Superman returns (the movie Singer did instead of X-Men 3). BTW I wish I could put the list in spoiler tags, since Singer is now back with the X-Men franchise and some of these ideas might be used.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 15:13
  • 1
    There's an actual quote of Dougherty's words here and here; that second link also includes unused concept art.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 15:18
  • @BCdotNET It can be spoilered and still be a bulleted list with HTML tags. Want me to do it?
    – Izkata
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 23:31

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