Regardless of how poor the critical reception was for X-Men: Apocalypse, and it was pretty rough as these things go, it seemed pretty unlikely we were going to witness Fox abandon their main flagship of the property, despite the more idiosyncratic successes of Deadpool, Logan and even Legion on the small screen.
Today, Variety reports that its full steam ahead on the sequel to Apocalypse, entitled Dark Phoenix, which sees Apocalypse and Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg make his directorial debut on. Presumably it will continue the decade-jumping trend of the previous features, and will set this film in the 90’s (despite the fact that it would put the entire cast in at ages they don’t resemble whatsoever…but I digress…).
More importantly, their report also comes forth with the news that Jessica Chastain is now in talks to join the franchise as one of the villains of the film, Lilandra, the head of the Shi’Ar empire and oftentimes paramour of Charles Xavier.
The addition of Chastain would be a nice shot in the arm for a project that doesn’t have a whole lot of excitement behind it of yet, especially in comparison to the ever-growing cast of Deadpool 2 and the upcoming New Mutants, which has been pitched as a bit of a horror film. Chastain’s co-star in A Most Violent Year, Oscar Isaac, played Apocalypse in the previous film, but the poor guy was covered in so much makeup, literally anyone could have been playing that part. Hopefully Kinberg and company will do better by Chastain and the X-franchise will continue its current upward trajectory kicked off earlier this year.
The entire core X-Men cast of the previous film are expected to return for Dark Phoenix, including Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Sophie Turner, and Nicholas Hoult.