Amid the flurry of news Wednesday about X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the characterization of Shi’ar Empress Lilandra as a “villain” undoubtedly raised the eyebrow of more than a few longtime comics readers. However, one possible detail about the Fox sequel should please fans: its setting.
Christopher Marc of entertainment site Omega Underground contends director Simon Kinberg’s film will take place in 1991, perhaps not coincidentally the same year Marvel Comics relaunched its X-Men series with a new series by Jim Lee and Chris Claremont. The first issue was certified in 2010 by Guinness World Records as the bestselling comic book of all time.
That Dark Phoenix might be set in the ’90s shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the timeline of the X-Men film prequels: X-Men: First Class took place primarily in 1962, X-Men: Days of Future past primarily in 1973, and X-Men: Apocalypse in 1983. Presumably any sequel would sync up with the franchise-launching X-Men, which opened in 2000.
For Marvel Comics, and for many fans, the ’90s was a new heyday for the X-Men comics, an era that saw the introduction of such characters as Cable, Gambit and Bishop, as well as titles like X-Force and Generation X.
As the film’s title suggest, X-Men: Dark Phoenix will adapt the seminal Marvel Comics storyline “The Dark Phoenix Saga,” some of whose elements were used for a subplot in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand.
Opening Nov. 2, 2018, X-Men: Dark Phoenix stars James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Alexandra Ship as Storm, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler.