Dark Phoenix: 5 Big Questions

May 14th, 2019Dark Phoenix: 5 Big Questions

In DARK PHOENIX, Sophie Turner stars as the telekinetic mutant Jean Grey, who turns from hero to the biggest of bads. After a massive spike in power pushes her to the limits of sanity, Jean attacks her closest allies. The X-Men try to control Jean, while Magneto (Michael Fassbender) attempts to neutralize her, and the stage is set for a showdown between friends and loved ones.

How Faithful to the Comics Is the Movie?

[Credit: Marvel Comics]

The comic book version of the DARK PHOENIX story is pretty wild. Returning home from a mission in space, Jean Grey is hit by a solar flare which ignites the true scope of her powers. She tries to keep her power in check, but Jean is ultimately kidnapped by the Hellfire Club, a secret organization of wealthy mutants. A telepath called Mastermind brainwashes Jean, which also unlocks some of the darkest aspects of her new powers. Ultimately, there’s a whole trial in space conducted by an alien race, which leads to an all-out battle between the X-Men and aliens.

We know some of this is in the movie — a mission in space leads to Jean’s elevated powers, for example — but it seems unlikely that the movie will end like a big super-powered episode of “Law & Order.”

How Deep Into Space Does It Go?

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

X-Men comics have sent the characters far out into the reaches of space, and the original “The Dark Phoenix Saga” had a lot of space action. In the comics, Jean Grey loses control of her powers and becomes Dark Phoenix, soaring out into the cosmos where she eats an entire sun, destroying a nearby planet — and all of the life on it — in the process (hence the trial, which comes afterward). Will the film feature at least some of the same scope?

Does Cyclops Get His Due?

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Cyclops was one of the original X-Men, alongside Jean Grey, when the comic books launched in 1963. Their relationship is a foundational part of the team’s long storyline; it drove the original Dark Phoenix story.

Following the movie timeline reboot in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Tye Sheridan was cast as Cyclops for X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. He and Jean were only a small part of that film, however — so will their relationship, and his importance, have time to grow in DARK PHOENIX?

Who Is Jessica Chastain’s Character?

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

As far as we know, Jessica Chastain plays an alien who seems to be manipulating Jean into using her power for her own ends. Her name and origin have not been revealed. She’s the biggest question mark in the film so far.

Reportedly, Chastain does not play Lilandra of the Shi’ar, the character who puts Jean on trial in the comics. It’s possible that Chastain’s character is someone created specifically for the film. Perhaps she acts as a merged version of Mastermind, the comic book character who brainwashed Jean to become part of the Hellfire Club, and Lilandra. Or she could be someone else entirely!

Who Dies?

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Trailers for DARK PHOENIX have already shown that Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Mystique, dies, as confirmed by writer/director Simon Kinberg. But she could be just the beginning. There’s also the suggestion that Magneto may finally be laid to rest. Will Jean Grey survive the story? And will anyone else fall? Since the entire X-Men story could be rebooted as it is integrated into the MCU, anything is possible, even though this film was made long before Disney acquired Fox.

DARK PHOENIX opens on June 7

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