“The Dark Phoenix Saga” remains one of the most beloved and inspiring storylines in the X-Men comic books, a challenging tale of teamwork that finds the superhero mutant family fighting to save one of their own, Jean Grey, after she encounters an alien life force that greatly amplifies her natural powers.
When AMC sat down with DARK PHOENIX producer Hutch Parker, we asked him about bringing the 1980 Dark Phoenix narrative to a younger audience, but he clarified that they approached the material with a different goal in mind.
“I didn’t think of it as coming to a younger audience or an older audience so much as getting to do something that felt much more grounded and real within the universe,” Parker said. “We have such an amazing cast, and giving them the chance to sink their teeth into more complex emotional issues and to see these characters as mutants grappling with familial emotional issues was a really exciting opportunity.”
Jean Grey, in the current iteration of the X-Men, is played by “Game of Thrones” standout Sophie Turner, a gifted actress who gets to share multiple scenes in DARK PHOENIX with two-time Oscarâ nominee Jessica Chastain. Returning to the fray are Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy as Magneto and Charles Xavier, respectively. And DARK PHOENIX also gives X-MEN: APOCALYPSE cast members like Tye Sheridan (READY PLAYER ONE), Nicholas Hoult and Alexandra Shipp more dramatic material to play with.
This fact was not lost on Hutch Parker.
“In LOGAN, it was giving [Hugh Jackman] a chance to really bring all of his skills to bear on a part,” Parker said. “It was not dissimilar here, and it informed, I think, the way Simon wrote the characters and charted the scenes was to try and give these actors a chance to really do what they can do.”
The stakes are meant to be high in DARK PHOENIX. The X-Men finally are operating as a team, embarking to outer space for a dramatic rescue mission that puts Jean (Sophie Turner) in the path of the Phoenix force. That encounter will drastically change the X-Men, perhaps irreversibly.
Find out how when DARK PHOENIX opens in an AMC theatre near you on June 7. Advance tickets are on sale now, so make sure you reserve your opening weekend seats!