If there’s one character who’s traditionally been given the short shrift in the X-Men movie franchise, it’s Cyclops. Though always at the forefront of the children of the atom’s stories in the comics, the original trilogy never really seemed to know what to do with him, despite a solid bit of casting in James Marsden. Tye Sheridan took over the role as the younger Scott Summers in X-Men: Apocalypse, but again, he was just part of the ensemble and not the stalwart leader we know from the page.
Cyke fans will be pleased by Sheridan’s comments to Screen Rant, then, that his character has matured a lot by the time we catch up with him in X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Obviously, the plot revolves around his girlfriend Jean Grey becoming the dangerous, all-powerful Phoenix, so naturally, Scott should have a hugely emotional arc in the movie as well.
Here’s how the actor explained what the younger Summers brother goes through:
“He’s maybe the most affected by what happens to Jean and kinda this unraveling…When she starts to encounter and struggles to handle and I think he’s directly in front of that. And she’s the one that he loves. He’s going to go to the end of the Earth to save her. And I think that he and Charles kind of set out to help Jean. And throughout the movie you kinda see the X-Men break apart. I think it’s a much more mature version of him. He’s much more focused on getting back to Jean and helping to save her. So it’s really exciting. And there’s also some really fragile moments with him, because it’s not easy to handle the fact that the one you love may be going crazy or you don’t know what’s happening…”
That’s definitely a better treatment of the character than the last time the Dark Phoenix saga was tackled in X-Men: The Last Stand. If you’ll recall, Cyclops was killed off early on – and off-screen! – as Jean’s first victim. The role of the man who loves her and tries to save her then went to – who else? – Wolverine. To be fair, this was necessitated by Marsden jumping ship to Superman Returns, but it was still a shoddy use of the hero.
Director Simon Kinberg has previously revealed the main difference between Dark Phoenix and Last Stand. Unlike in the latter film, which was bogged down by various plotlines struggling for attention, DP‘s going to be all about Jean Grey’s descent into darkness and the emotional, psychological ramifications of that, for the woman herself and her friends. Kinberg, of course, wrote The Last Stand himself, but hopefully he’s learned from his mistakes and will make X-Men: Dark Phoenix the great adaptation of the seminal comic book arc we should’ve got the first time around.