Second chances are rare in Hollywood, but the X-Men franchise is about to get a major one. Twelve years after the release of X-Men: The Last Stand, the series is taking another crack at The Dark Phoenix Saga in the aptly titled X-Men: Dark Phoenix and all eyes are on the film to get Jean Grey's most famous story right this time. There's a lot of enthusiasm surrounding the upcoming mutant adventure, and the possible casting of The Originals actress Summer Fontana as young Jean Grey has only generated further excitement for the film.
Earlier this month, Summer Fontana posted a photo from Montreal to her Twitter account that got fans talking. Although the caption of the picture says nothing specific about taking part in the X-Men film, this seems telling because X-Men: Dark Phoenix is shooting in the Canadian city. Considering how much she looks like current Jean Grey actress Sophie Turner -- and by extension, the comic book character -- it makes sense to assume that the X-Men production has tapped the young TV star.
The fact that Summer Fontana's presence Montreal coincided with Dark Phoenix also seems to corroborate the IMDb cast list -- which explicitly states that she's portraying young Jean Grey in the X-Men adventure. IMDb lists aren't always right, but that plus Fontana's own admission that she was in Montreal goes a long way towards confirming that she's joining the X-Men universe. When we look at everything, the evidence is definitely starting to pile up and make a compelling argument.
If Summer Fontana is indeed portraying an even younger version of Jean Grey, then that could give us some insight into where the Dark Phoenix story will eventually go. The events of X-Men: Apocalypse heavily implied a mysterious (and malignant) power lurking just beneath the surface of Jean's mind, and the film's final battle showed her unleashing the full force of her abilities to kill En Sabah Nur. With a young Jean Grey possibly on the horizon, would wager that the next entry in this franchise could delve even further into her tumultuous childhood and her eventual arrival at the X-Mansion.
Summer Fontana could potentially be a huge catch for the X-Men films, as she has already made a pretty significant impact on small screen audiences. Arguably best known for her work as Hope Mikaelson on The CW's The Originals, Fontana has proven herself in the fantasy genre and has shown an apparent knack for this type of work. (In fact, Originals showrunner Julie Plec went on and on about her acting abilities at Comic-Con this year.) We don't know what the scale of her role in X-Men: Dark Phoenix would be--if she's actually in the film at all--but she's as close to a perfect choice to play Jean Grey as any young actress working today.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is currently slated to debut in theaters on November 2, 2018. For more up to date information on the rest of this year's theatrical releases, take a look at our comprehensive movie premiere guide!
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.