“The Dark Phoenix Saga” is one of the most renown X-Men storylines ever written. It saw the transition of Jean Grey from typical superhero to legendary character. She was already an integral member of the team, but the inclusion of the Dark Phoenix catapulted her into the stratosphere. It started off the running trend of killing her every so often, but also utilized some of the cosmic space elements into the story to really raise the stakes. We’ve seen the “Phoenix” storyline adapted into live action before during the original trilogy, but it wasn’t executed very well. Her death in X2 resonated well, sacrificing herself for the rest of the team at Alkali Lake. But bringing her back almost immediately in the next film felt like a disservice.
Luckily, we’re getting a whole new adaptation of the storyline that could prove more faithful if the set photos and multitude of rumors have anything to say about it. The recent reveal of info on the film provided a huge insight into what’s ahead for the X-Men, and it’s hard not to be excited. The franchise could potentially be changed forever. So here are eight facts and seven rumors about X-Men: Dark Phoenix to ramp up the anticipation.
15. FACT: GOING TO SPACE
Whilst the X-Men comics have involved some of the boldest storylines ever told. Other dimensions, different planets and yes, aliens — they’ve yet to explore the cosmic side of those storylines in live action. The original X-Men franchise omitted the cosmic side of the “Dark Phoenix” storyline.
But now for the first time in the X-Men franchise, mutants are officially going into space. And that’s just the first five minutes of the movie apparently. The team are going up in the X-Jet, which means that Hank McCoy has been working on the technology between Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix. Supposedly, they’re going up as part of a rescue mission of sorts. Who they’re rescuing and why they need saving remains to be seen, but it’s one small step for a mutant, one giant leap for mutantkind.
14. RUMOR: ROGUE AND DAZZLER
During a deleted scene in X-Men: Apocalypse, Scott Summers picks up a vinyl record by Dazzler — a direct reference to the pop star character of the same name who can create light out of sound waves which is useful for her live concerts. And whilst Rogue was a big character during the original X-trilogy, we haven’t seen her in the prequels.
But thanks to The Hashtag Show going through some casting announcements, it looks like Rogue and Dazzler may be included. The call for Dazzler included ‘Brittany is a born entertainer. Strong singing skills are a plus’. Whilst the Rogue tease reads ‘Marie is a strong, but conflicted child who does not like to share her feelings’. Or share her powers. Anna Marie is Rogue’s real name, so it could be a small way of teasing her appearance.
13. FACT: IT WON’T BE INTERGALACTIC
Anyone that has read the original “Dark Phoenix” storyline knows that it involves some heavy intergalactic themes and plot points. Simon Kinberg is the man writing and directing the fourth of these prequel films, but he’s not getting too ahead of himself. In the a recent interview, Kinberg explains that he’s trying to make sure that Dark Phoenix is grounded and ‘not too intergalactic’.
He wants to ensure that this film is about the spectacle of the X-Men, not the spectacle of space and different planets. It’s a smart move, but we can’t help but feel slightly cheated that they’re not embracing the full scope of the “Dark Phoenix Saga”. Now, however, we may be able to see Kree and Skrull Empires included in the film with the Fox/Disney deal, and seeing her absorb planets would be impressive.
12. RUMOR: SAVAGE LAND
No seriously, the film might be taking a trip to the Savage Land. For those that aren’t aware of what the Savage Land is, it’s a tropical place in Antarctica that has been influenced by aliens to house life from the Triassic period in time. Various tribes of species, dinosaurs and monsters exist there, and one of those creatures is Sauron.
Karl Lykos is an energy vampire that once he feeds off of someone, he resembles a Pteranodon, a winged dinosaur. He even named his alter ego after the Tolkien villain. The casting call for a character named ‘Lucas’, which sounds extremely similar to ‘Lykos’. It describes the character as “ruthless and cunning, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants”. Certainly sounds like an evil energy vampire turned dinosaur if you ask us.
11. FACT: CHARLES’ EGO WILL GROW TOO BIG
Because the team have managed to be quite successful over the last few years, Professor X realizes that what he’s doing is incredible. After all, he’s successfully shown the world that mutants can be a positive force for good, rather than a destructive race of unpredictable threats. But this is going to go to his head.
Because he knows the limitations of the team, he’s constantly going to be pushing them to X-treme (sorry) limits. He’s going to risk everything to satisfy his own ego. He even makes it onto the cover of Time magazine according to recent reports. Director Simon Kinberg says that “pride is starting to get the better of him”. Which could spell danger for the team if he pushes them too far.
10. RUMOR: TWO PARTS
The past few years have seen the rise of the ‘Part One and Part Two’ movies. Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games and so on. Justice League was originally meant to have a ‘Part Two’ as did Avengers: Infinity War, and now it’s the X-Men’s turn. Dark Phoenix will supposedly open the door to a direct sequel in the storyline (possibly in the MCU?).
When asked about the scope of the film, the actress portraying Psylocke, Olivia Munn, seemed to reveal the next X-Men film. “I’m supposed to be vague, That’s my answer. I’m horrible at that. It’s like a two-parter, this movie”. So whilst the next film might not be Dark Phoenix part two, it sounds like the storyline will continue. If this film is grounded and not very intergalactic like Simon Kinberg mentioned, what about part two?
9. FACT: YEARS AFTER APOCALYPSE
While we’ve finally got our good first look at the film, there were also a mention that Dark Phoenix takes place ten years after X-Men: Apocalypse. And we’re extremely pleased about that. Because although Apocalypse did a good job of reintroducing us to classic team members, it also got boring seeing them grapple with their powers.
We’ve seen young heroes struggle to control their superpowers countless times, it’s boring. But since Dark Phoenix will be set in 1992, it means that those younger teammates should hopefully have a firm grasp on what they can and can’t do. Aside from Jean, for obvious reasons. Hopefully we see some fluid team dynamics as they work together too. After all, they should be a well-oiled machine of superheroics by now.
8. RUMOR: PHOENIX FORCE
If you’re excited for Dark Phoenix but don’t know what the Phoenix Force is, we’re disappointed in you. It’s a cosmic manifestation of all the life and passion in the universe. Basically, an infinite amount of power that has the ability to affect all the multiverses and grants the host an immense level of strength.
But when we saw the Phoenix Force during the original X-Men trilogy, it was merely something of a mental illness lying in Jean’s brain rather than the terrifying cosmic power. The rumor is that the Force will actually live up to its comic book origins rather than just a separate personality inside Jean Grey. Hopefully, they do it justice. Including bringing otherworldly threats to the X-Men because of the power that Jean now holds.
7. FACT: THE SPACE ACCIDENT
Because of Professor X’s bold ego striving to take on bigger, more dangerous missions, he sends the team in space as part of a rescue mission. It’s here that the Phoenix Force will make its fiery entrance into the lives of the X-Men and it certainly riffs on the original introduction to the entity.
When a solar flare hits the X-Jet whilst they’re in space, Jean has to use her powers not only to save her teammates but to also finish the mission. Pushing her powers to the limit will ignite the Phoenix Force that lays somewhat dormant inside of her. In the comics, she mentally called out for help when a mission in space when awry, and the Phoenix Force came to her aid. So it looks like a similar set of circumstances will occur.
6. RUMOR: A MEMBER OF THE TEAM DIES
Uh oh, they’re killing someone off. Keep an eye on who they interview quite a lot in the run up to the film, because it’ll usually be someone they push into the spotlight that’ll get killed off. We know that at least someone dies, because in the recent photos of the film, we see Professor X, Nightcrawler, Cyclops and Storm at a funeral.
The rumor is that we’re going to see one of the team members die. But because there are several members missing from the photo, it could be any number of people. Jennifer Lawrence described the film as a drama, but also said that “emotionally all these characters are taking the biggest, most extreme dives than they have in the whole series.” Place your bets (Moira MacTaggert seems like an easy choice).
5. FACT: THE TEAM ARE NATIONAL HEROES
Wait, what? The X-Men are usually shown as near outlaws. Their superheroic team are constantly hounded by Sentinels, the Government and many of the human race. They’re protested against and some mutants are even radicalized because of the treatment they endure from the human race. So seeing them as heroes is going to be a huge change from what we’ve seen before.
Because Professor X’s team are constantly engaging in life saving missions and being praised by the media, they’ve become legitimate superheroes. They’ve gotten past the dangerous mutant stereotype that was brought about in First Class, Days of Future Past and Apocalypse. They’re actually going to be seen by the worldwide community as superheroes, rather than vigilantes. That is, until the Phoenix Force arrives and ruins that…
4. RUMOR: GENOSHA
Genosha could be making its cinematic debut very soon. The nation that Magneto claimed for mutants as their homeland was introduced in the ’80s as a comics parallel for the apartheid in South Africa. But after a while it also introduced to us various characters that believed in Magneto’s ideology that mutantkind are the dominant species on Earth.
Which leads us to another part of the rumor, that Magneto will become a cult-like leader, even wearing a costume that will be “associated with cult leaders” according to reports. Magneto’s Acolytes are rumored to be a part of this cult storyline that Lensherr will be involved in. How that plays into the Phoenix Force, we’re not quite sure. But going to space, maybe Genosha and maybe the Savage Land, this is one potentially bold movie on the cards.
3. FACT: JESSICA CHASTAIN
For a long time it was rumored that Jessica Chastain would be a part of the latest X-Men movie, and nobody could get a confirmation out of her. Until now. She’s part of Dark Phoenix, and she’s already been described as ‘otherworldly’. And in the set photo, she certainly looks a little out of place, without seeming too obvious.
Chastain hasn’t starred in a superhero franchise as of yet, although she said she’s been offered them previously. But of her role in Dark Phoenix she mentioned; “Simon and I were talking about the character and I said, ‘I keep thinking of the vet who tells you you need to put your dog down. There’s something very clinical about it.” Well she sounds like a lovely person who should definitely be allowed near Jean Grey.
2. RUMOR: LILANDRA
But if the rumors are true, then Jessica Chastain isn’t just playing a stereotypical visitor from another world. She’s actually bringing the Shi’ar Empire into live action. The role that Chastain is rumored to be playing is that of Lilandra Nerami, the Empress of the Shi’ar Empire. Oh.
Although in the recent photos she doesn’t quite have the intimidating headdress or the metallic armor that has become synonymous with the character, there’s nothing to say they can’t introduce that later on in the film. If this is true though, it will truly open the floodgates for the cosmic side of the X-Men films. What could the repercussions be? All we’re picturing is Deadpool meeting an alien. He’d lose his mind. If she is playing Lilandra, Jean Grey needs to watch out.
1. FACT: THERE’S A HUGE TWIST
There’s one small fact that everyone seems to brushing over when discussing and anticipating X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It’s the fact that they’re openly admitting there’s going to be a huge twist mid-way through the movie. If they’re warning us this early on in the game, it makes us wonder what it’s going to be. If they want us to know, it means they want us to speculate.
Admittedly, it’s one way of generating a buzz and news about an upcoming release because they know people will be discussing it. And yeah, we can’t help ourselves. What could the twist be? Supposedly, it will change the course of the franchise forever. Here’s one thing that would both impress us: the X-Men somehow enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who knows what could happen now that Disney owns the universe.
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