If there is one story X-Men fans have always wanted to see properly brought to life on the big screen, it's the Dark Phoenix Saga. The iconic storyline, so beloved by fans of the comics and the '90s cartoon, was adapted once before in X-Men: The Last Stand, but in a bastardized fashion that was the Phoenix Saga in name only. Now the story is getting a second chance at silver screen glory. Simon Kinberg's X-Men: Dark Phoenix is adapting the Dark Phoenix Saga again, this time with Sophie Turner as Jean Grey. Today we have our first look at some concept art of Jean Grey's cosmic(!) transformation into the Phoenix. Take a look.
Not only does this image look awesome, it's an encouraging look at what X-Men: Dark Phoenix has in store. Jean looks so small in the vastness of space, surrounded by these huge shuttles. The power awakening inside of her will be a huge moment, and this image shows that at least visually, they are on the right track. It also lets fans know straight out of the gate that this film will include at least some of the cosmic elements that are fundamental to the Phoenix story. This looks like a huge set piece and it likely takes place early on in the film. That's not a bad way to start. We know that the X-Men will be sent on a mission to rescue astronauts in space, but they run into some major solar flares and that's when everything takes a turn. Director Simon Kinberg gave Entertainment Weekly an idea of what is happening with Jean Grey's transformation, saying:
Jean absorbs those solar flares and then hurls them back out into space. That's what triggers, awakens, creates this Phoenix force and voice inside her. What appears to the world to be another heroic victory by the X-Men in saving stranded people in space we realize is the thing that begins the unraveling of Jean and the unraveling of secrets Charles told her.
Every movie in this semi-rebooted X-Universe since X-Men: First Class has jumped forward in time a decade, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be no different, taking place in 1992. Professor Xavier is sending his team on increasingly dangerous missions, like rescuing these stranded astronauts, and this time, the consequences are dire. Given the deep bond Charles has with Jean, what happens to her will weigh heavily on him and have serious repercussions for their relationship. This may also cause the rest of the team to doubt his leadership given the disastrous consequences of this mission.
From what we've seen and heard so far, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is definitely hewing closer to the comics than the previous attempt, but it remains to be seen if they'll go all in. Jessica Chastain was suspected to be playing Lilandra, although that has been debunked. So we don't yet know if the Shi'ar Empire will even be featured in this movie. There is a possibility that Simon Kinberg's directorial debut will again cherry-pick elements and give us a Phoenix Saga-light. However, given this awesome concept art, it seem like they are putting their best foot forward and we are in store for an epic X-Men adventure.
Another attempt at the Dark Phoenix story might be the perfect way to end the Fox X-Men movies with a bang and close out that arc before the characters potentially return home to Marvel, where Kevin Feige is eager to get his hands on them. X-Men: Dark Phoenix blazes into theaters on November 2, 2018. For all the biggest movies hitting next year, check out our 2018 release schedule.