It is official: the next movie following X-Men: Apocalypse will tackle one of the darkest moments in comic book history. According to new reports, Twentieth Century Fox has released its cinematic calendar which confirms that the mutants will return in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Over the weekend, Fox’s slate of upcoming movies for 2018 was leaked by BoxOffice. The New Mutants will make its debut on Apr. 18 while the follow-up to the 2016 box office hit Deadpool 2 is coming on June 1. Meanwhile, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set to be released on Nov. 2.
— BoxOffice (@BoxOffice) April 22, 2017
The follow-up to 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse has been operating under the title X-Men: Supernova. Pre-production reportedly started last year, but filming will not commence until June 2017.
This is not the first time that the franchise has adapted the Dark Phoenix saga for the big screen. The story, which first came out in the ’80s was the inspiration for X-Men: The Last Stand. The events of the 2006 movie were eventually retconned in X-Men: Days of the Future Past.
In the upcoming movie, Sophie Turner (of Game of Thrones) replaces Famke Janssen as Jean Grey. Meanwhile, Simon Kinberg, who sat as a producer for X-Men: Apocalypse and Deadpool, is reportedly being eyed to direct.
The Dark Phoenix Saga and the Cosmic Universe
The Dark Phoenix saga was created by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and John Byrne. Published in 1980, the comic book series centered around Jean Grey who becomes possessed by an all-powerful, genocidal, cosmic entity known as the Phoenix.
The Phoenix used to roam the universe, fashioning worlds and galaxies according to its own judgment. The entity has the capacity to destroy worlds and recreate them.
The X-Men came across the entity when, returning from a mission in space, Jean Grey was hit by a deadly radiation of solar flare. It caused her to briefly unlock her ultimate potential as a telepath and telekinetic. In that moment, she also became a being of pure thought. She was able to reform herself with a brand new identity and the power of the Phoenix.
With her new abilities, Jean fixed the fractured M’Kraan Crystal, But the Phoenix remained bonded with her even after lending its powers to the mutants. Eventually, the villain called the Mastermind and The Hellfire Club, manipulated Jean/Phoenix into becoming The Dark Phoenix.
It is believed that in order to stop herself and the cosmic entity to cause further damage, Jean Grey sacrificed herself and took the Phoenix with her.
The events of the comics saga were far different from what happened in The Last Stand. While Janssen’s Phoenix was equally as powerful as her comic book counterpart, there was no cosmic entity involved. The movie was largely based on the sacrifice of Jean Grey (with Logan delivering the mercy killing that inspired The Wolverine and Logan).
Dark Phoenix in the New X-Men Universe
The existence of the Phoenix has already been hinted in last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse. While not directly referred to in the movie, Jean (Turner) has started to manifest the Phoenix Force and unleashed her full capacity against the ancient villain known as Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac).
X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be a direct sequel to last year’s offering. In the upcoming movie, the mutants will see the full extent of Jean’s considerable and god-like powers. Whether the cosmic universe will be introduced remains to be seen.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix will feature the young new mutants that were introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence Nicholas Hoult have not signed up as of this writing.
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