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Director Simon Kinberg And Jessica Chastain Shed Some Light On Dark Phoenix’s Shape-Shifting Villain

Via Entertainment Weekly, Jessica Chastain has offered up some fleeting new details on her mysterious X-Men: Dark Phoenix baddie.

“An otherworldly shapeshifter who comes into contact with Phoenix.”

Barring those hushed rumors and unsubstantiated reports, that’s the only piece of confirmed intel we have pertaining to Jessica Chastain’s Dark Phoenix character. Hell, even after the recent Entertainment Weekly blowout – the outlet’s cover story teased death and destruction ahead of November 2018 – the identity, motivations, and origins of Chastain’s big bad remain firmly under lock and key.

Sadly, that’s still the case, but while speaking with EW, Chastain and director Simon Kinberg shed some light on said antagonist, who may or may not be Shi’ar Empress Lilandra Neramani. First up, Kinberg confirmed that the advent of Chastain’s baddie only spells danger for Jean Grey, who is imbued with the Phoenix Force when a rescue mission goes awry.

Her character is way, way smarter than we are. What she realizes is she can use [Jean Grey] to manipulate this world, to turn it against itself.

Chastain, a proud and rational feminist, added:

I was really excited for him to have his directorial debut and also it was the script. I’ve always wanted to do a big comic book franchise-y film but I had some issues with the female characters in the films I was being offered. I was really pleased with this script because I think it’s a departure from the norm.

Being able to attract an actress of Chastain’s caliber goes to show that comic book movies are really beginning to reach new heights when it comes to delivering compelling and, crucially, believable female characters.

In a separate interview with EW, the actress also traced the evolution of her character from page to screen:

Simon and I first sat down in Montreal and we were talking about the character and I said ‘I don’t know if this is right but I keep thinking of the vet who tells you you need to put your dog down. There’s something very clinical about it.’ He loved it and we kind of expanded the character from there.

Further details on Chastain’s top-secret baddie likely won’t be revealed until 2018, but with X-Men: Dark Phoenix slated for November 2nd, surely we’ll learn more about Jean Grey’s nemesis sooner rather than later.

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Michael Briers