The X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the most famous and beloved comic book arcs of all time. It’s been dabbled with a few times off the page: the animated series in the early 90s did a pretty good job with it (considering it was a kids’ show, they could only go so dark); X-Men: The Last Stand killed it with a flaming barbwire-wrapped 2×4; and the middling Apocalypse film hinted at it near the end.
Hopefully, this will be the time they finally get it right. Fox’s followup to Apocalypse is titled Dark Phoenix, and looks to right the X-ship after its predecessor’s thoroughly meh performance. And if the titular character’s appearance is any indication, it looks like they’re on the right track.
Entertainment Weekly has revealed the first shots of actress Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, the incredibly powerful telepathic/telekenetic mutant who becomes inhabited by the even more powerful Phoenix Force.
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While Grey herself is generally depicted as a kind, benevolent character, the Phoenix is called dark for a reason. Wielding such immense power drives her quite literally out of her mind, leaving her with no empathy, no sense of right or wrong. (For a bit of perspective, a fully powered Grey-Phoenix combo could probably deal with Thanos all by herself. But why would she want to stop him? Destruction is fun.)
This movie has a lot of potential. However, we have to remember that director Simon Kinberg was the writer behind the dismal Last Stand. Here’s hoping that his talents (and respect for the source material) have grown exponentially in the years since that debacle. And hey, at least he’s not Bryan Singer.
Kinberg, for his part, certainly seems committed to giving it his all. Speaking to EW, he talkes about how much time and attention to detail have gone into post-production so far. Of paramount importance is the appearance of the possessed Grey, especially her flaming hair.
“I wanted the post time to deliver on the nuance of the visual effects, not just the scale of them. That takes time.”
Another plus is that Charles Xavier himself, James McAvoy – a fine actor in his own right – is calling this “the most emotional X-Men we’ve done, and the most pathos-driven,” which certainly sounds like high praise.
The X-team, hitting screens in November 2018, will feature the returns of Turner, McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Evan Peters (Quucksilver), and the continuously overexposed Jennifer Lawrence. One can only hope that, this being the Phoenix Saga, she at least won’t be front and center, continuing to butcher the character of Mystique. She’d be much less irritating as a background character. And a villain. And blue.
But I digress. Do these shots of Phoenix give you hope for the film? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!