In 2006, X-Men: The Last Stand hit theaters and hot off the critical acclaim from X2: X-Men United, many were left disappointed at the finished product – particularly with how the iconic Dark Phoenix story was handled. Now, well over a decade later, the franchise is taking another stab at the story in the aptly titled Dark Phoenix, where the prominent cast that has built from 2011’s X-Men: First Class will get a chance to show off their take on the story.
At the center of Dark Phoenix is actress Sophie Turner. In the trailer, young Jean Grey is shown displaying some of her more incredible abilities that were hinted at in X-Men: Apocalypse. Understanding that there is a lot of pressure to make sure Dark Phoenix is given its justice, Turner explains how she handled such pressure after the strikeout of The Last Stand:
Yes a lot of pressure. I knew Simon was taking me out to lunch and he sits me down and tells me it’s Dark Phoenix and I’m like “fuuuuck.” I know it’s one of the most loved stories of the X-Men universe and for Simon to trust me enough with this responsibility is a big honor. And I want to do the fans of the original story justice, and of course there’s a lot of pressure especially having been done before. Simon would tell you that it was a B-plot of the movie and he felt it had to be the main plot of the movie.
In the previous attempt at telling the Dark Phoenix story, actress Famke Janssen was in the role of Jean Grey. Turner also revealed some of the advice she got from Janssen:
I emailed her when I got the role and said ‘I loved your work so much and you played Jean in such a heartbreaking and beautiful way and I wanted to emulate that and put my own spin on it. Is there any advice you can give, anything I should read or watch that you did?’ And she wrote back and said ‘I’m handing the baton to you, do with the role what you want this is a new thing for you.’ That was a big honor.
Turner also compared the tone of Dark Phoenix to other recent entries in the X-Men franchise:
This movie is very different to any of the X-Men movies. You have Logan which is a Western drama, Deadpool is a comedy. Dark Phoenix is more like a family drama, and is much more character-driven, emotional. Take away the superhero, fantastical parts of it and it’ll hold up as a very good movie. If you take the fantastical parts out of prior movies, you’ll only get half an hour of material.
Here’s hoping that Simon Kinberg manages to succeed with his directorial debut.
Dark Phoenix is directed by Simon Kinberg and stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain.
“In DARK PHOENIX, the X-MEN face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.”
Dark Phoenix opens in theaters on June 7, 2019.