Here's everything you need to know about the X-Men: Dark Phoenix movie!

News Mike Cecchini Joseph Baxter

Mar 27, 2018

Most folks believe in second chances, and that includes Simon Kinberg and 20th Century Fox. After the less than satisfying attempt to adapt the epic Chris Claremont and John Byrne comic book story “The Dark Phoenix Saga” in 2006’s lackluster X-Men: The Last Stand, Kinberg has graduated from co-screenwriter to director and he is looking to do this iconic comic book tale justice in 2018’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the seventh X-Men movie and the one that looks to be by far the most faithful to comic book lore yet. As we approach its 2018 release date, the mutants are teaming up with some new heroes and familiar faces.

While Kinberg is a first-time director, he has had a long and compelling career as a producer at 20th Century Fox. In addition to the X-Men movies he wrote, he also has produced genre favorites like The Martian, Deadpool, and Logan. In fact, Den of Geek spoke with Kinberg in February on the latter where he and fellow X-producer Hutch Parker spoke candidly about how being there first-hand to see how good movies in the genre (say, Logan) and bad ones (say, Fantastic Four) helps inform Kinberg on doing his own movie and doing it right.

Kinberg told us, “We really are deep inside it and in prep on it, in truth… I can’t really talk about the content of what we’re talking about right now. But we certainly want to enter into new areas that the X-Men haven’t entered into before. And that means just not the possibility of what you said, but really the interpersonal dynamics between these characters has to feel different, and heated and visceral, and human and relatable in ways that maybe some of the movies in the past have been more theatrical and sort of operatic. We would like the next movie to feel grounded and even gritty and dangerous in ways that we haven’t really seen an X-Men movie be.”

The latest X-Men: Dark Phoenix photos – arriving via Empire – first give us a look at Michael Fassbender’s returning Magneto, who appears to be getting the rabid stray dog treatment by a gang of gun-toting goons. Either that or he just experienced something seismic and powerful.

With no context provided it’s very possible that the mutant master of magnetism, also known as Erik Lehnsherr, is playing possum, ready to rise up and deliver a punishing metallic-based reprisal to whatever it is that occurred here.

Interestingly, Magneto had nothing to do with the original – and groundbreaking – “The Dark Phoenix Saga” comic book storyline and the nature of his involvement in this latest attempt by the movie franchise to adapt it remains a mystery. Moreover, the fact that the film is set in 1992 – nearly a decade after Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey first “Phoenixed-out” in X-Men: Apocalypse – is also a point of intrigue, especially since that would make Fassbender’s Magneto only eight years away from becoming Ian McKellen’s version, as depicted in 2000’s original X-Men.

Deadpool said it best, “These timelines can get so confusing.”

And while they’re of a less high quality, several more images from the new issue of Empire featuring the X-Men have dropped, including one of a steamy moment of privacy between Turner’s Jean Grey and Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops. There is also a very appealingly bizarre tease of Jessica Chastain’s “otherworldly” mystery character. We’re still betting she’s Lilandra pretending to be a human. Whoever she is though, she is quite imposing as she leans over James McAvoy’s bewildered Charles Xavier.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Release Date

X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be released on Nov. 2, 2018. This marks the first time a proper entry in the X-Men franchise hasn’t been released in the spring.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Story

20th Century Fox delivered a revelatory gift of goodies to X-Men fans. In the pages of Entertainment Weekly‘s upcoming 2018 preview, Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey, aka the Phoenix, has consumed the cover with fiery grace. With an iconography that suggests something closer to what comic fans expect from the Phoenix, it is the first image in a bevy of photos that reveal some interesting details.

For starters one image corresponds with the story details teased to EW by Simon Kinberg and company that X-Men: Dark Phoenix will include the famous sequence where Turner’s Jean will become possessed by a cosmic force when the X-Men go to space. According to EW‘s press release, which amounts to our first synopsis, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is only the beginning of this epic, which should be quite familiar to X-Men fans.

After the team is 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 – played by Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner – the Phoenix. While Jean is both the hero and villain, Dark Phoenix also introduces an other-worldly (and for now, top secret) shape-shifter (Jessica Chastain), who attempts to manipulate Phoenix for her own agenda.

What is also interesting about this tease is it would suggest that Jessica Chastain will be taking on the role of the original Dark Phoenix Saga’s Emma Frost (who is deceased in X-films after being played by January Jones in X-Men: First Class). However, Chastain is rocking the silver locks. And if she is a shapeshifting alien, it might suggest she could be the famed alien race the Skrulls, as opposed to the previously assumed part of Lilandra, the space empress of the Shi’ar Empire, who plays a major role in the Dark Phoenix Saga’s ultimate finale. If Chastain is not Lilandra, might this indicate that Simon Kinberg envisions this as a two-part story?

At the very least his focus on apparently Turner’s Jean and Chastain’s unnamed character caught Chastain’s interest, an actor with very passionate and public views on the role of women in film. (She previously worked with Kinberg when the latter produced The Martian in 2015.)

“I’ve always wanted to do a big comic book film, but I had some issues with the female characters I was being offered,” Chastain told EW. “This definitely passes the Bechdel test, and I don’t know how many comic-book films can say that.”

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Posters and Images

Below you can feast your eyes on all of the first images from the film:

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Cast

Deadline broke details about the cast in June. For starters the entire main X-Men: First Class cast have signed on to return: James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult as Beast! The main “young mutants” introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse are also back: Sophie Turner as the titular Jean Grey/Phoenix, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp as Storm, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler. Notably, the announcement does not include Evan Peters, who played Quicksilver in the last two X-Men movies.

Further, Jessica Chastain is attached to play the film’s main villain, who has previously been reported to be Lilandra, the Empress of the Shi’Ar Empire. However, Chastain has since denied that this is her character, and given what we now know about her role in the film, rumors that she may be the Skrull Queen seem quite possible. It has also been confirmed that Dazzler will be one of the new mutants in the movie, although she hasn’t been cast yet…

The cult favorite mutant Dazzler (who had a cheeky reference in a deleted X-Men: Apocalypse scene) and Olivia Munn’s Psylocke are also rumored to be in the film.

While the mutants will be apparently going to space in 2018, fighting for Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey against the might of the Shi’Ar Empire, the real world has plenty of issues itself about equality and tolerance, and a figure that has grown increasingly popular with those wanting to be on the right side of history is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Canadian PM made international waves when he publicly supported refugees after the current U.S. government tried to deny Syrian ones who had been granted entry into the U.S.

Evan Peters, who has stolen the show as Quicksilver in the last two X-Men movies will return. THR also reports that Lamar Johnson (The Next Step) has joined the cast in an undisclosed role.