- The “X-Men” sequel “Dark Phoenix” is out on June 7.
- The movie will focus on Jean Grey’s origin and her iconic Dark Phoenix storyline.
- “Dark Phoenix” is set in both 1992 and the ’70s.
- This may be the last of the current generation of “X-Men” movies.
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The latest in the “X-Men” saga is out soon and it’s a big one. “Dark Phoenix” is the second film adaptation of the Dark Phoenix saga, which focuses on Jean Grey and how her dangerous power splits the X-Men.
Here is everything we know so far about the production and story of “Dark Phoenix.”
Long-time ‘X-Men’ writer Simon Kinberg is directing
Simon Kinberg may not be a familiar name, but he’s had a hand in every main “X-Men” movie dating back to “X-Men: The Last Stand” in 2006. He has helped write and produce every movie (with the exception of the R-rated “Logan” and “Deadpool” movies) since 2011’s “First Class.” Kinberg wrote and directed “Dark Phoenix” and it’s hard to imagine an “X-Men” writer more qualified.
Kinberg also served as an executive producer and writer on Jordan Peele’s “Twilight Zone” reboot as well as an executive producer on FX mutant drama “Legion.”
The source material is the same as ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’
Based on the arc of “X-Men” comics from 1980, “Dark Phoenix” follows Jean Grey, her discovery of her power and transformation into Phoenix, and how this eventually tore the mutant group apart. This is the same source material that “X-Men: The Last Stand,” the third “X-Men” movie, was based on.
Kinberg helped write “The Last Stand” and is well aware of its reception. In the comics, Jean starts to discover these powers after a space mission, and the movie seems to be leaning into the cosmic elements of the story.
“One of the mistakes we made was that we didn’t go cosmic with it, like the comics,” Kinberg told Digital Spy, “now we live in a time with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ and so many comic book movies are interstellar and cosmic that we felt like this was an opportunity to do our version of that.”
‘Dark Phoenix’ is set in 1992
The movie takes place a decade after “X-Men: Apocalypse” in 1992. The X-Men are becoming national heroes and are winning over public favour. However, when a space rescue mission goes wrong, this is when Jean Grey gets her Phoenix powers.
… but some of it will be a flashback
However, in the trailers, we also see shots of young Jean and, more noticeably, a young Charles Xavier. The first trailer teased Jean’s tragic origin story and why she found her way to Xavier’s school so young.
Given Jean’s age, this puts these flashbacks somewhere in the 1970s. And that checks out, as it has to take place between 1973 and 1983, given that Jean was introduced in “Apocalypse” to the modern X-Men canon.
Jessica Chastain plays a new villain
A blonde Jessica Chastain appears in the “Dark Phoenix” trailers. This character is reportedly similar to the original villain of the comic book arc but has been confirmed to be an original character called Mastermind.
“Jessica’s character is not Mastermind but there are elements of the way Mastermind manipulates Jean that Jessica’s character does employ,” director Simon Kinberg told Cinemablend.
Genosha – a location in the comic books – will also make an appearance
Kinberg has confirmed Genosha as a location in “Dark Phoenix.” In the comics, Genosha is a country where mutants are enslaved and brainwashed or genetically altered to not have free will. It was used in the comics as an allegory for slavery and later, apartheid. The country experiences a lot of turmoil in the comics: There is a mutant uprising, civil war, and at one point, both Magneto and Xavier rule Genosha.
From interviews with Kinberg, it sounds as though he is most interested in the period of Genosha’s fictional history where it was an advanced mutant society.
In an interview with Empire, Kinberg said, “Genosha is something that I’ve always been fascinated by. it’s sort of Oz for mutants. As a Jew, its parallels to Israel and the notion of the promised land intrigued me even as a kid.”
All the current generation X-Men appear to be returning
In the trailers, we see all cast is returning. Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), are all returning as supporting characters. And of course, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender reprise their roles as Charles Xavier and Magneto respectively.
Most interesting is we finally get to see Tye Sheridan don a more classic style iconic Cyclops visor.
… and they are wearing classic colours
In keeping with the theme of staying more true to the comics than “The Last Stand,” “Dark Phoenix” is placing its characters in classic costumes. The blue jumpsuits with the yellow X are the most faithful X-Men costumes to hit the big screen.
The movie is likely the end of an era
While it was predicted due to Disney dealings, and the fact that the last “X-Men” franchise came to its soft end with “The Last Stand,” the latest trailer all but confirmed “Dark Phoenix” as the end of this era of the franchise.
The director confirmed one character’s death, but there will likely be more
Even if this is the end of an era, some characters will make it to the next generation, and while there is at least one confirmed death, more are sure to come. Kinberg has confirmed that Mystique, played in this incarnation by Jennifer Lawrence, will die by the hands of Jean Grey. Deaths and changes are coming in “Dark Phoenix,” and the X-Men world will never be the same.
“Dark Phoenix” is out June 7
The Disney merger throws a good deal of “X-Men” properties out of whack. “The New Mutants” is in some kind of studio limbo and “Dark Phoenix” ended up getting pushed out of February 2019. The final release date is June 7. With “Avengers: Endgame” out in April, this makes “Dark Phoenix” the first superhero movie of the summer.
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