If there is any superhero franchise that has opened the door for all the other superhero-themed movies we’ve had this decade, it has to be X-men. With the first movie released in 2000, X-men: Dark Phoenix will be the (then) 13th instalment connected to X-men. The story how this movie came to be is actually a fun one.
Director Bryan Singer began exploring the character Jean Grey / Phoenix in the 2003 film X2, with the intention of adapting Marvel Comics’ storyline ‘The Dark Phoenix Saga’ in the next film. However, Singer ultimately did not return to direct the sequel X-Men: The Last Stand. That film’s writers, Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn, still intended to adopt the ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’, but as only one of the film’s ‘parallel storylines’. Together with the ‘Gifted’ Storyline, this version of the story was not well received. After this debacle, there was no way to redo the ‘Dark Phoenix’ storyline, since parts already appeared in X2 and this would only confuse people and the entire timeline.
But after the timeline of the X-Men franchise was reset with the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, it was noted that a new adaptation of the ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’ could be made that ignores the events of The Last Stand. Simon Kinberg and Bryan Singer both expressed interest in this and hinted that 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse would set up elements for such a retelling. Apocalypse introduces Sophie Turner as a young Jean Grey, and begins exploring “how powerful she is”. After Bryan Singer dropped out of directing the movie, it was Simon Kinberg who signed on to make his directorial debut. Dark Phoenix started filming at the end of June 2017 and was completed in October 2017 under the working title Teen Spirit.
Dark Phoenix will be set in the 1990s. a decade after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse. Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt, make her lose control of her abilities and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. The X-Men must face the full power of the Dark Phoenix as well as the alien Shi’ar empire. Their empress, Lilandra Nermani, leads an alien race that is in search of and eager to eradicate the Phoenix Force, which lies dormant within its host: Jean Grey. However recent news brought out that Lilandra might not even be in Dark Phoenix. Her actress, Jessica Chastain, posted on Instagram (post now removed) that she isn’t playing Lilandra, but who she is playing in the movie is unknown.
There are however some rumours that this X-men movie will feature the Skrulls. A fictional race of extraterrestrial shapeshifters who have been regularly featured in several decades of Marvel Comics, usually as villains bent on invading Earth. Both Marvel and Fox own the rights to portray them in movies while Marvel has already confirmed them for the Captain Marvel movie in 2019.
Most of the actors and actresses from X-men: Apocalypse return to this movie:
James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/ Professor X
Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkhölme / Mystique
Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy / Beast
Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers / Cyclops
Sophie Turner as Jean Grey / Dark Phoenix
Alexandra Shipp as Storm
Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler
Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff / Quicksilver
Oliva Munn as Elisabeth Braddock / Psylocke
Evan Jonigkeit as Mortimer Toynbee/Toad (rumoured)
Gregg Lowe as Eric Gitter/Ink (rumoured)
Kota Eberhardt as Luna
Scott Sheperd as Jean Grey’s father: Dr John Grey
Daniel Cudmore (previously portrayed Colossus in the franchise) as Unknown
Lamar Johnson as Unknown
Unknown as Alison Blaire/Dazzler
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is scheduled to be released on November 2, 2018.