While it’s pretty likely a big announcement regarding the future of 20th Century Fox is coming in the next week or so, and that announcement’s affect on their comic book output being of particular interest around these parts of course, there’s still movies to be made in the meantime! And next up for the X-Men franchise as it currently exists, Dark Phoenix.
Entertainment Weekly, as they always do, has the first crack at Fox’s latest superhero romp that brings back the cast from the pretty terrible X-Men: Apocalypse to take another crack at the iconic Claremont-Byrne Dark Phoenix storyline. Of course, the studio gave this a shot before with X-Men: The Last Stand, a film so poorly received, they spent years trying to rectify the damage done by it (first by running away into prequel mode and then creating a film to literally erase it from existence).
But, the hiring of the co-writer of that film to direct this one is…definitely a choice. Yet hope, as always, springs eternal…and EW‘s plot write-up gives us a little peek into what’s coming:
Set in 1992, about 10 years after the events of last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix opens with the X-Men, including Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters), in a new, unexpected role: national heroes. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) even lands on the cover of Time magazine. But his growing ego puts the team at risk. “Pride is starting to get the better of him, and he is pushing the X-Men to more extreme missions,” Kinberg says. After they’re dispatched to space for a rescue mission, a solar flare hits the X-Jet and the surge of energy ignites a malevolent, power-hungry new force within Jean (Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner)— the Phoenix.
I’m not going to try and figure out the math on how old that has to make Hank McCoy at this point, despite Hoult being about 6 years my junior. But most pressingly, and left aside in this bit, is that Jessica Chastain is joining the cast as an otherworldly shape-shifter (and apparently not Lilandra). I’m always here for more Chastaining, always.
Also, based on the above, it looks like they may still be running with the idea of The Phoenix Force as part of Jean’s personality, rather than a cosmic entity. It could go either way, more to come…
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is in theaters on November 2, 2018.
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. Also, your go-to Grant Morrison/Love & Rockets/Hellboy/Legion of Super-Heroes expert.