Now that Fox’s X-Men sequel has a title, “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” and a 2018 release date, the search begins to any details about the plot — inspired, at least in part, by the seminal Marvel Comics storyline — and casting. The first clues about the latter may arrive in newly surfaced audition videos for the film, which will shoot under the name “Teen Spirit.”
Uncovered by Omega Underground, the videos depict Australian actor Rarmian Newton (“The Family”), Irish newcomer Paul Mescal and Canadian-American actress Alexa Swinton (“The Billions”) reading for the roles of Shane, Sam and Marie, respectively. While those may not be the actual names of the characters — placeholder names are sometimes used during the audition process — is enough to ignite speculation that producers are seeking to re-cast longtime X-Men Rogue, whose alter ego is Anna Marie in the Marvel comics and Marie in the Fox franchise.
A mutant who can absorb the psyche and abilities of anyone whose skin she touches, Rogue was previously portrayed in the Fox films by Anna Paquin beginning with 2000’s “X-Men.” She reprised the role in the sequels “X2” and “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and returned in 2014 for “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
While an appearance by Rogue in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” doesn’t sync with the events of the first three films, director Bryan Singer effectively pushed a reset button in “Days of Future Past,” which permitted the re-introduction of Nightcrawler much earlier in the team’s history. Considering how popular Rogue is with X-Men fans, it’s doubtful many would complain about another continuity tweak.
Rumored to be directed by franchise veteran Simon Kinberg, “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” will see “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner reprise her “X-Men: Apocalypse” role as a young Jean Grey. Filming is expected to begin in June in Montreal, in time for a release on Nov. 2, 2018.