X-Men: Dark Phoenix Director Wants to 'Ground' the Cosmic Story

Dark Phoenix Byrne

While the Marvel Cinematic gears up for a giant cosmic bonanza in next year's Avengers: Infinity War, Fox is taking a different approach with its X-Men franchise. According to director Simon Kinberg, X-Men: Dark Phoenix -- the latest installment in the X-Men saga -- will be "grounded."

In the latest issue of Total Film, as captured by X-MenFilms.com, Kinberg said that he must "find a way to ground it so it's not too intergalactic," stressing that the X-Men films are "human…and emotional." In that sense, Kingberg could mean that he hopes to keep the film emotionally grounded, but that is unclear at this time.

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The '80s X-Men storyline "Dark Phoenix," which followed Jean Grey as she become corrupted by the powerful entity known as the Phoenix, featured alien races such as the Shi'ar and found Jean razing planets and committing galactic genocide while the X-Men tried to save her. Fox already tried to ground this particular storyline for X-Men: The Last Stand, which saw the Dark Phoenix persona manifest in Jean as a flaw her in psyche, totally omitting the cosmic aspect. The film went on to be a critical failure.

It will be interesting to see if Kinberg, who takes over the director's chair from Bryan Singer, adopts a similar approach and keeps this story as a more Earth-centered conflict, especially as Jessica Chastain is expected to play Shi'ar Empress Lilandra Neramani in a villainous role. The film is rumored to also include Genosha, a mutant haven run by Magneto (Michael Fassbender), who is expected to take a "cult leader" role, further hinting that proceedings could be kept on Earth more than first thought.

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.

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