There has been a lot of speculation about the next X-Men film, Dark Phoenix, and how Fox will handle their second go at the classic comic storyline that defined the super team during their popularity in the ’70s and ’80s. Longtime X-Men producer Simon Kinberg will step in as director for this installment and the film has brought in Jessica Chastain to take on a role that most people thought was galactic empress Lilandra, a love interest for James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier and a major piece of the Phoenix saga.
She had been threatening to make McAvoy “cry so hard” when she joined the film, leading many to assume they would be a major pair in the new film. They had previously shared the screen in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, so the familiarity was already intact, but it’s a now post on Instagram that casts doubt on these early reports.
There’s no real teasing going on there. More a blunt rejection of the earlier reports, casting doubt on where the film is taking the story and who Chastain could really be playing. She definitely could still be Lilandra of the Shi’ar, mostly because Instagram comments aren’t gospel. But if she’s not, the red hair has some thinking she could be playing some sort of manifestation of Jean Grey’s darker side. This all follows the comments from Kinberg that he needs to find a way to “ground” the X-Men’s most intergalactic story because they are more “human…and emotional” stories.
For what it is worth, there’s no hint of darkness in the actress’ first post from the set, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Elsewhere, Jennifer Lawrence has confirmed her return to the series and explains why she thought the fans deserved her return after appearing in the past three films as Mystique in an interview with Digital Spy:
My contract was up, I didn’t have to do another one, but if I didn’t do another one, what would her story be? I felt like I owed it to the fans, and I owed it to the character to follow her journey, to be fair to the movies, and not be like, ‘I don’t want to do another X-Men!’ And then I just never show up and everyone’s very confused about the Mystique they’ve been following for the last three films.
While audience confusion is debatable, it’s nice to not have to deal with another role being recast. Also it’d be fairly odd to see Mystique not return after the last movie set her up as the new leader of the team — at least it certainly seemed like that.