X-Men: Dark Phoenix: Jessica Chastain Says She's Not Playing Lilandra

Jessica Chastain in The Martian

Despite reports to the contrary, Jessica Chastain apparently isn't playing Shi'ar Empress Lilandra in X-Men: Dark Phoenix after all.

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The actress posted a photo of a double rainbow taken on her first day of the set of the Fox sequel, accompanied by the transcript of the "Double Rainbow" viral video from 2010. However, what's of real interest is Chastain's apparently since-deleted comment: “Hey folks, want a scoop? Im not playing Lilandra….."

It was reported in June that Chastain had been cast as the villain of Dark Phoenix, and at the time it was rumored she would play Lilandra, a longtime supporting character in Marvel Comics' X-Men titles. Although she confirmed her casting in August, she has never publicly stated her role.

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Introduced in 1976 in Uncanny X-Men #97, Lilandra Neramani was a grand admiral of the Shi'ar Empire Imperial Guard, but fled to Earth after she uncovered the schemes of her brother, the power-mad dictator D'Ken. There she found allies in Charles Xavier and the X-Men, who eventually helped to stop D'Ken's plan. She later assumed the throne, with Xavier as her consort, and played a role in "The Dark Phoenix Saga," which serves as the film's inspiration.

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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