As Hollywood’s leading studios begin to promote their assets leading up to 2018 (see: Infinity War, Fallen Kingdom), Entertainment Weekly has officially blown the lid off X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Simon Kinberg’s all-star tentpole that’s poised to ship the mutants off to space in November.
It’s a story that largely revolves around the young Jean Grey (Games of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner), who is left at the mercy of a blistering solar flare while on board the famous X-Jet, which, in turn, triggers a powerful transformation within the unsuspecting Jean. And it’s one that threatens to rock Professor X’s mutant school down to its very foundations.
Then again, while Sophie Turner’s character is primed for a huge and potentially tragic arc in Dark Phoenix – the film has been described as the “most emotional” entry in Fox’s prequel saga – there’s another entity to consider: Jessica Chastain’s mystery villain.
Initially thought to be playing Shi’ar Empress Lilandra Neramani, EW’s coverage has hinted that Chastain’s character is actually “an otherworldly shapeshifter who comes into contact with Phoenix.” The Skrull Queen, perhaps?
Whatever the case, the two-time Oscar nominee went to some pretty dark places while preparing for her Dark Phoenix role:
Simon [Kinberg] and I were talking about the character and I said, ‘I keep thinking of the vet who tells you you need to put your dog down.’ There’s something very clinical about it.
Dark Phoenix takes place roughly 10 years after the events of Apocalypse, at a time when our core group of mutants – namely Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters) – are celebrated as national heroes. That temporary fame doesn’t last long, though, as Xavier’s class of mutants are soon left facing the Phoenix, Jean Grey’s fierce alter-ego.