X-Men: Dark Phoenix may go into outer space

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer
Sophie Turner becomes the Phoenix in X-Men: Apocalypse (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

The X-Men may be set to boldly go where no X-Man has gone before… on the big screen, at least.

20th Century Fox’s ongoing series based on the Marvel comic book is set to continue in 2018 with ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix,’ which will retell the classic ‘X-Men’ storyline previously tackled to less-than-stellar results in 2006’s ‘X-Men 3: The Last Stand.’

The classic 1980 tale from writer Chris Claremont and artists Dave Cockrum and John Byrne sees central X-Men character Jean Grey (played by Famke Janssen in the original ‘X-Men’ movies, but taken over by Sophie Turner in 2016’s ‘X-Men: Apocalypse) become the villain of the piece, as she metamorphoses into an ultra-powerful mutant named the Phoenix.

One of the key reasons ‘The Last Stand’ disappointed the fans (well, there were a great many reasons to be fair) is that, in the comics, this story largely took place in outer space – an area the movie series has, to date, steered clear of. However, in a new interview with Screen Rant, ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ producer Hutch Parker hints the new movie might head in that direction.

Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey goes Dark Phoenix in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ (credit: 20th Century Fox)

Citing the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies as a key challenge to live up to, Parker explains, “we’re very aware of the challenge that those movies pose and what it sort of demands of us as storytellers mining, again, one of the great comic runs in The Dark Phoenix Saga.

“Our hope and expectation is to try and do something that feels different, that takes the audience into a different tone and a different sense of cinematic style that is appropriately suited to the story we’re telling.”

Asked whether he might be implying the film will ‘go cosmic,’ Parker laughs, “That is certainly a possibility. That is certainly a possibility. Yes.”

Given the series has already successfully embraced time travel with ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ – and will doubtless explore that territory further with the addition of Josh Brolin as time-travelling mutant Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’ – there’s no significant reason why the ‘X-Men’ movies can’t work space travel into the mix too.

Beyond Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, the full cast for ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ is unconfirmed at present, but there are rumours that series regulars Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence may be back. Nor do we yet know who will direct the film, although it is a possibility that longtime ‘X-Men’ writer and producer Simon Kinberg will make his directorial debut on the film.

‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’ is set to open in UK cinemas on 2 November 2018. It will be Fox’s third X-Men universe movie of the year, following on from ‘X-Men: The New Mutants’ opening 13 April, and ‘Deadpool 2’ opening 1 June.

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