Dark Phoenix: Simon Kinberg Explains the Movie's Two New Characters

Dark Phoenix Selene and Red Lotus

As Simon Kinberg's Dark Phoenix continues the long-running X-Men movie franchise while once again telling the story of the acclaimed "Dark Phoenix Saga," the director is opening up about two new additions to the cast.

Starting with Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class in 2011, Fox rebooted the main timeline and cast the likes of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner. Alongside, Jessica Chastain's arrival as a mysterious alien shapeshifter, Kinberg is explaining newcomers Selene and Red Lotus.

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Speaking to CinemaBlend at WonderCon, Kinberg revealed how Selene is a nod to the original "Dark Phoenix Saga" and the inclusion of the Hellfire Club. "The one that’s from the comic is Selene, which is a little bit of a nod to the Hellfire Club," Kinberg said. "It’s obviously a huge part of the original Dark Phoenix Saga in the comics, and it’s not something we really explore in this film. I wanted to have something that would at least be an homage to that, and it’s also a character I always thought was cool and cool-looking."

Introduced in 1983's New Mutants #9, Selene is a 'psychic vampire' linked to the inner circle of the Hellfire Club. Fans will remember the shady organization played a major role in X-Men: First Class and was led by Kevin Bacon's Sebastian Shaw. Apart from a fleeting mention of its deceased members in X-Men: Days of Future Past, there's been no sign of the Hellfire Club since.

Elsewhere, Red Lotus will be "sort of an amalgam of different characters from the comic and inspired by different characters." According to Kinberg, Red Lotus "is sort of a combination of different mutants and an original creation. And that’s played by, actually, a guy who’s one of our stuntmen, and he was originally doing the stunt choreography and the coordination for it."

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He went on to explain how actor Andrew Stehlin impressed as Red Lotus: "And I was looking at him, and I was like, not only is he so good at doing the action, which is primarily what that character does in this film, but also he’s just very interesting-looking. And it turns out he can act as well, ‘cause he’s got a couple lines in the movie."

While neither Selene or Red Lotus are expected to have large parts in Dark Phoenix, both sound like they will be visually impressive. The two new additions seem to be tied to Fassbender's Magneto, but fans will have to wait and see how they come to be part of Dark Phoenix when the movie hits screens later this year.

Written and directed by Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Jessica Chastain. The film is scheduled to be released on June 7.

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