Although the narrative continuity of the X-Men timeline has pretty much been a mess for some time, the franchise has shown a strong commitment to its characters and their growth over the years. One such tragic hero is Beast, who has evolved considerably since his first (chronologically speaking) appearance in X-Men: First Class. However, he's not done evolving, as Beast actor Nicholas Hoult recently opened up about Beast's changes in X-Men: Dark Phoenix and explained that we are going to see a very "different version" of the furry blue hero in 2018. Hoult said:
It's very different for Beast this time, and that was part of the appeal of doing the movie for me. Simon Kinberg who wrote and directed this time had great ideas for where he wanted the character to go, so I was excited.
So, while Nicholas Hoult wouldn't go into detail to ET about the specific changes that will occur for Beast in the upcoming film, we can expect them to be fairly substantial. As Charles Xavier's right-hand man through most of the recent movies, Hank McCoy has gone from brainy whiz kid to full-blown muscle and instructor for the X-Men team. That's a pretty impressive arc in its own right, but it looks like the changes have only just begun.
A big jump in Hank McCoy's personality is also necessary to make the continuity of the X-Men universe work. Although the franchise received a massive overhaul when Bryan Singer essentially hit the reset button with X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014, that film made sure to let us know that Kelsey Grammer's version of Beast remains the "modern day" incarnation of the character, and he's arguably nothing like the one portrayed by Hoult.
If we can expect to see some significant changes made to Hank McCoy's personality in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, then a move towards Grammer's Beast makes plenty of sense. Compared to the version of the character that Nicholas Hoult has played thus far, Grammer's Beast is much more outwardly confident in his mutant form, and a bit more eloquent -- even playing the role of diplomat in X-Men: The Last Stand. By contrast, Hoult's version of the character has consistently struggled to come to terms with his abilities, making small (but poignant) steps in the right direction with each passing film.
Of course, looking beyond Nicholas Hoult's comments about his character, Beast isn't the only hero who will evolve and change in X-Men: Dark Phoenix. X-Men: Apocalypse ended with the formation of the real, classic X-Men ensemble, and the promise that characters like Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Mystique, and the rest would become the versions of the heroes that we know and love. On top of that, the upcoming sequels' subtitle very much guarantees that Jean Grey is due for some serious changes as The Phoenix Force gradually takes control of her. Beast's arc is going to play a notable role in Dark Phoenix, but it's only one of many.
Jean Grey's hidden power will boil to the surface when X-Men: Dark Phoenix brings all of its glorious 1990s-tastic vibes to the silver screen on November 2, 2018. Before then, the X-Men franchise will take its next leap forward when New Mutants premieres in theaters next spring on April 13, 2018. Until then, check out our movie premiere guide to see what the rest of this year has in store!