Jessica Chastain May Play the Villain in X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX

Dark Phoenix Simon Kinberg Jessica Chastain

X-Men: Dark Phoenix will begin shooting in Montreal later this year for a November 2nd, 2018 release date. Now, it's been confirmed: the Shi'ar are coming to Earth to take out Jean Grey, the young woman destined to become the Dark Phoenix. The Phoenix Force overtakes her personality and leads to her unleashing her power on the world, leading the rest of the X-Men to come together and stop her. This will be his directorial debut but has been involved with the series since 2006 as a screenwriter for X-Men: Last Stand, and has since also worked as a producer for this and the Deadpool franchise. The four have said that they would not return to reprise their roles for any upcoming sequels unless their fellow cast members also sign on. The Hollywood Reporter indicates that Jessica Chastain may be cast as the Shi'ar empress (and Dark Phoenix villain) Lilandra. Kinberg is also producing along with Hutch Parker and Lauren Shuler Donner.

"X-Men: Apocalypse" stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, and Kodi Smit-McPhee are all reprising their roles.

Even if you consider yourself a loyal disciple of Fox's lucrative mutant franchise, the X-Men lore can be hard to parse. A complaint about X-Men: Apocalypse was that the X-Men movies had evolved in almost a decade and fresh blood was needed.

The Dark Phoenix Saga was very loosely adapted in Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand, a film Kinberg wrote and produced. Among the returnees are McAvoy (Split, Atomic Blonde) as Professor Xavier, Lawrence (The Hunger Games) as Mystique, and Fassbender (Assassin's Creed) as Erik, aka Magneto, all of whom joined the series in 2011's X-Men: First Class. For those of you out there who haven't read the comics and just went "huh?", Lilandra is a pivotal player in the Dark Phoenix storyline.

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