X-Men: Dark Phoenix confirms director, returning cast, maybe Jessica Chastain

It’s all happening on X-Men: Dark Phoenix

With all the news about X-Men: The New Mutants, we’d almost forgotten about Dark Phoenix, the next chapter in the main canon storyline. Well, it sounds like it’s finally getting ready to go.

Deadline confirmed the long-running rumour that long-serving X-Men movie writer Simon Kinberg, who’s also producer on all the X-related movies, will be making his directorial debut with the film, which fans of the comics, the animated series and The Last Stand (there must be some) will tell you will focus on the journey of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) to the dark side.

Meanwhile, it sounds as though those tricky three-movie contracts have been sorted out, as the returning cast list includes James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast). They’re joined by Apocalypse‘s young stars Turner, Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler). McAvoy and Shipp had been rumoured to appear in The New Mutants until recently; obviously they were needed here.

Just waiting on Evan Peters’ Quicksilver…

Lawrence had been the most vocal about not being sure whether or not she wanted to return for a fourth X-Men movie, so it’s a little surprising to see that she’s back, but most of all we’re excited that the group of young mutants will get another chance to shine after being far and away the best thing about the sprawling, messy Apocalypse.

Then, the glorious Jessica Chastain is apparently in negotiations to play the film’s villain, Shi’ar Empress Lilandra, who plays a key role in the Dark Phoenix saga, and has a long history with the X-Men.

Chastain would obviously be a wonderful addition to the series, although hopefully they find a way to use her better than her A Most Violent Year co-star Oscar Isaac, who was lost under that Wishmaster make-up and some naff dialogue.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be released on 2 November 2018. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.