What’s the one thing Spectre and Star Trek Into Darkness had in common? You know, besides the CG-laden spectacle and superheroic characters…
That’s right, each feature attempted to conceal the identity of its villain by any means necessary, leading viewers on a wild goose chase filled with red herrings and misdirection. Of course, history tells us that Spectre and Star Trek Into Darkness were anchored by Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Khan Noonien Singh, respectively, and the fact that their involvement had become something of an open secret leading up to release only reduced the dramatic impact of each reveal.
Is Dark Phoenix about to repeat the same mistake? We know Simon Kinberg’s X-Men sequel has cast Jessica Chastain as its central antagonist, who has since been described as an “otherworldly shapeshifter who comes into contact with Phoenix.” Common logic dictates that that character is, in fact, Shi’ar Empress Lilandra Neramani, but now we’re not so sure.
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The actress, who will soon share the screen with Professor Xavier (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), and Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), has already spoken at length about her powerful female presence, but thanks to IGN, we now know that she’s going by the name of Agent Smith.
At least, that’s according to writer-director Simon Kinberg, who hopes to right the wrongs of Apocalypse with the release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. As the title suggests, Fox’s November sequel largely revolves around Jean Grey’s radical transformation, but it’s Jessica Chastain’s mystery character who continues to be the source of debate.
Surely Agent Smith is merely a codename for Chastain’s über-villain? As CBM notes, the only other Smith affiliated with X-Men lore is Tabitha Smith (AKA Time Bomb or Boom-Boom), though we can’t imagine Fox would cast an A-lister in the vein of Jessica Chastain for such a measly role.
One way or another, X-Men: Dark Phoenix will deliver the answers fans so crave on November 2nd.