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Dark Phoenix: A New Challenge for Sophie Turner

May 24th, 2019Dark Phoenix: A New Challenge for Sophie Turner

The Marvel-ous mutants return this summer in DARK PHOENIX, inspired by a beloved comic book storyline that puts original team member Jean Grey front and center. Sophie Turner made her debut as Jean in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Now, the character flies onto the screen with an expanded story that is more powerful than ever before.

Turner has long been one of the best performers on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Now, in DARK PHOENIX, she faces her most challenging role yet as she takes the spotlight in this epic sequel. Read on for a closer look at the DARK PHOENIX story and what makes Turner’s latest role so major. 

All Roads Lead to This 

[Credit: HBO]

Following the series premiere of “Game of Thrones” in 2011, Sophie Turner quickly became a fan favorite. As Sansa Stark, eldest daughter of the Stark family, Turner has transformed, over eight seasons, from a young, naive girl angling for royalty into a strong, resilient woman who is often the most reasonable person in the seven kingdoms of Westeros.

Playing Sansa led directly to Turner landing the crucial role of Jean Grey in the latest X-MEN trilogy. Jean is an intensely powerful young woman who deals with the familiar struggles of a teen coming of age while also coping with her emerging telepathic and telekinetic abilities. The X-MEN films FIRST CLASS, DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and APOCALYPSE have laid the groundwork for the future of the gifted youngsters in the series, with the third film finally introducing Jean — and signaling to fans that a Dark Phoenix may be on the rise. 

The Dark Phoenix Saga

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

The X-Men comics have been published consistently for more than 60 years, and “The Dark Phoenix Saga” is the high water mark out of hundreds of storylines. It follows Jean as an alien force unlocks her full — and terrifying — potential as the Dark Phoenix. This newfound power attracts the attention of sinister villains, who trick Jean into believing she’s reliving the memories of an ancestor in order to recruit her into their secret society. The power of the Dark Phoenix is too strong to control, and Jean eventually turns on both the X-Men and the villainous group. She exiles herself to space, where she destroys an entire planet and all of its alien inhabitants. A massive confrontation between alien leaders, the X-Men and Jean ultimately ends in tragedy. 

The film DARK PHOENIX appears to change a few things pretty significantly, even as it maintains the core of the story. Jean still struggles with controlling an overwhelming power, which forces her friends (and foes) to make some bold decisions. With award-winning actress Jessica Chastain playing a mysterious alien villain (inspired by the comic books), DARK PHOENIX has all of the potential to do justice to one of the X-Men’s most famous storylines.

Turner in Overdrive

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

What makes this role so challenging for Turner is that it requires her to not only play the human side of Jean — super-smart, empathic and gentle — but also the ultra-powerful Dark Phoenix persona. That entity takes Jean’s psychic powers to their ultimate potential and transforms the character into something that is not exactly human. In the comics, Dark Phoenix is described as a “being of pure thought.” She’s enlightened, but also extremely terrifying and destructive.

The biggest problem facing the X-Men and Professor Xavier is how to control something that cannot be controlled. Jean’s struggle is more internal, splitting the character into two distinct halves, Jean and Dark Phoenix, and putting her abilities to the ultimate test. It’s not only Turner’s most prominent role to date, but also her biggest and boldest yet. Thankfully, she’s had plenty of practice on “Game of Thrones,” where Sansa Stark is often forced to deal with extremely difficult, painful and emotional situations. 

DARK PHOENIX follows the full evolution of Jean Grey on June 7.

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