Update: More images from X-Men: Dark Phoenix have been released and we’ve added them below.
Out of the ashes of Apocalypse, a phoenix is born.
A first look at X-Men: Dark Phoenix has been released, along with plot details about Jean Grey’s turn to the dark side. The famous comic book arc was dabbled with in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand with Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, but the soft reboot of First Class has allowed the X-Men universe to have another go at the acclaimed X-Men storyline, with the new Jean, played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, at the center of it all.
The famous Dark Phoenix saga follows the powerful telepath Jean Grey as she is overtaken by a formidable dark force that unleashes her telepathic and telekinetic potential, but threatens to destroy her persona in the process. It’s one of the most famous X-Men comic book runs of all time, originally published in 1976-1977, and sent ripples throughout the Marvel universe. As a screenwriter, X-Men franchise mainstay Simon Kinberg had tried to introduce the Dark Phoenix arc in X-Men: The Last Stand, but was thwarted by studio interference and a tragic Wolverine-Jean Grey romance. It was a pale imitation.
Now nearly 10 years after Last Stand and well into the golden age of superhero movies, X-Men is having its second try at the Dark Phoenix saga with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Kinberg’s directorial debut. “[The film] was so clear in my head, emotionally and visually, that it would have killed me to hand this to somebody else to direct,” Kinberg told Entertainment Weekly.
EW has the first look at Sophie Turner as Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix:
In all seriousness, the Dark Phoenix first look is pretty nondescript, with a nude Sophie Turner rocking fiery locks and showing cracks of flame in her skin. This likely shows Jean Grey during her first transformation into Dark Phoenix, because I can’t imagine Turner walking around nearly nude throughout the entire film (though they did that with Mystique, so what do I know).
EW also released a few more stills from the film, including a first look at Jessica Chastain’s shapeshifting villain, who coldly manipulates Phoenix for her own gain. You can see the rest of the photos here.
What’s more interesting are the revelation of the plot details, from EW:
Set in 1992, about 10 years after the events of last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix opens with the X-Men, including Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Quicksilver (Evan Peters), in a new, unexpected role: national heroes. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) even lands on the cover of Time magazine. But his growing ego puts the team at risk. “Pride is starting to get the better of him, and he is pushing the X-Men to more extreme missions,” Kinberg says. After they’re dispatched to space for a rescue mission, a solar flare hits the X-Jet and the surge of energy ignites a malevolent, power-hungry new force within Jean (Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner)— the Phoenix.
The story draws heavily from the “Phoenix Saga” arc in Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and John Byrne, which introduced the Dark Phoenix persona through Jean Grey’s outer-space encounter with a deadly solar flare. The film will delve into the destruction that Dark Phoenix wreaks upon both Earth and Jean Grey’s relationship with her fellow X-Men and beloved mentor Charles Xavier.
“This is probably the most emotional X-Men we’ve done and the most pathos-driven,” McAvoy told EW. “There’s a lot of sacrifice and a lot of suffering.”
“It’s about the butterfly effect of this thing happening,” Turner adds. The actress studied schizophrenia and multiple personality disorders to prepare for the part. “What happens when the person you love the most falls into darkness?”
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set to hit theaters on November 2, 2018.
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