While X-Men: Days of Future Past took Fox’s film franchise through time, it has yet to venture into the cosmos, despite some of the X-Men’s iconic comic book stories being set in space. However, as X-Men: Apocalypse director Bryan Singer first indicated a year ago, that could soon change.
Asked about the possibility of the series finally going cosmic with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, producer Hutch Parker told Screen Rant, “That is certainly a possibility. That is certainly a possibility. Yes.”
Space is an important part of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” the seminal Marvel Comics storyline that serves as the inspiration for Dark Phoenix. In the story, the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force consumes Jean Grey, who’s being driven mad by the manipulation of the Hellfire Club member Mastermind. This awakens the Dark Phoenix, who then flees to space and destroys a sun, eliminating an entire planet in the process. Eventually, Grey sacrifices herself during a battle against the Shi’ar Imperial Guard on the Blue Area of the Moon.
Dark Phoenix won’t be the first film to bring aspects of the story to the big screen: Elements appeared as a subplot in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which wasn’t particularly well received. However, Parker asserted they’re aiming to do something different with the character this time around.
“Again, I can’t really speak to anything specifically, but I think the challenge as offered by all the films we’ve mentioned is very — we’re very aware of the challenge that those movies pose and what it sort of demands of us as storytellers mining, again, one of the great comic runs in ‘The Dark Phoenix Saga,'” he said. “Our hope and expectation is to try and do something that feels different, that takes the audience into a different tone and a different sense of cinematic style that is appropriately suited to the story we’re telling.”
Little is known about the cast. So far only Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, who made her debut as Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse, is confirmed to return. However, Parker previously indicated that Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence may reprise their roles as Magneto and Mystique.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is expected to begin filming this summer in Montreal for a targeted release of Nov. 2, 2018. Franchise producer Simon Kinberg wrote the screenplay, and is rumored to direct.