Even if you consider yourself a loyal disciple of Fox’s lucrative mutant franchise, the X-Men lore can be difficult to parse. In the words of a certain Merc With a Mouth: “McAvoy or Stewart? These timelines are so confusing!”
But now that the dust has all but settled from Bryan Singer’s middling Apocalypse, 20th Century Fox is gearing up for the next mainline entry: X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Pegged to arrive in November of next year, today heralded a series of exciting developments, including Simon Kinberg closing a deal to direct. Dark Phoenix will feature a familiar roster of mutants, too – and possibly an Oscar nominee in the form of Jessica Chastain – with Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), James McAvoy (Professor X), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) all back to reprise their respective roles. Conspicuous by his absence? American Horror Story‘s Evan Peters, who plays the role of Quicksilver in Fox’s mutant universe.
Whether he signs on at a later date will be told in time, but as for the potential addition of Chastain – the Miss Sloane actress came into contention for the gig after Angelina Jolie reportedly bowed out of the race – THR has linked the Hollywood star with the role of Lilandra, the “empress of an alien empire called the Shi’ar, who leads the quest to imprison and execute Dark Phoenix, leading her into conflict with the X-Men.”
So far, so good, right? But where exactly will X-Men: Dark Phoenix slot into the timeline? That’s a very good question, and it seems those original reports claiming Kinberg’s 2018 blockbuster takes place in the 1990s were bang on point.
More specifically, Dark Phoenix begins in 1991, and assuming Fox’s adaptation hews close to the source material, it’s a time when Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey plays “host to the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force after a mission in space. This transforms her into the genocidal ‘Dark Phoenix,’ a supremely powerful mutant said to be even more dangerous than Galactus.”
Is the X-Men franchise about to go cosmic? Here’s confirmation of that 90s setting, courtesy of Omega Underground:
Not that I'll get credit for this. But #XMenDarkPhoenix aka TEEN SPIRIT is set in 1991.
— Christopher M (@_ChristopherM) June 14, 2017
As things stand, X-Men: Dark Phoenix will become the third and final X-Men movie of 2018, what with plans in place for New Mutants (April 13th) and David Leitch’s Deadpool 2, the latter of which will herald the return of Ryan Reynolds’ gun-toting mercenary on June 1st.
Source: Omega Underground