It's an interesting time for the X-Men franchise. After the massive success of James Mangold's Logan, the long running property has begun to take new turns. Deadpool has its own irreverent niche, The New Mutants will be a comic book horror movie, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix looks like it will be a game changer as well. The upcoming sequel will feature the return of the First Class and Apocalypse cast, placing a larger significance on Jean Grey (Sophie Turner)'s massive abilities, and finally taking the franchise to space for an intergalactic adventure. Turner had been open about her excitement for the upcoming sequel, and she even thinks Dark Phoenix could change the superhero genre itself.
We are revolutionizing it. We wanted to create a whole new genre of superhero movie.
Sophie Turner's comments to Empire (via X-Men Films) is certainly a bold prediction for X-Men: Dark Phoenix. But considering that the property first debuted way back in 2000, perhaps it's time for the mutant-focused property to have a revolution.
It should be interesting to see exactly how the upcoming X-Men sequel attempts to create an entirely new form of superhero movie. Perhaps the most obvious hint is that it will take the mutants into space. The first look at Dark Phoenix shows Jean use her powers while the X-Men are in the midst of a space mission. Unfortunately, a malevolent force seems to have invaded her body during this occurrence, hoping to utilize her abilities for darkness. This is the first time the live-action team will venture into space, which is a semi-regular setting for the comics and even the 1990s animated series.
Overall, it appears that space is the next frontier for many superhero franchises. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it ending after Phase Three, the studio seems to be putting a greater focus on cosmic and space-set stories. In addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy, Brie Larson's Captain Marvel will also help space become a larger presence in the MCU.
And with Fox and Marvel's possible merger in the periphery of both Dark Phoenix and Avengers 4, taking things into space may be serendipitous. If both franchises seem to be heading to same playing space at the same time, perhaps their respective narratives will be merged more easily. It's currently a mystery how and if the X-Men and Fantastic Four will make their way to the larger shared universe, but it's something that fans and Stan Lee seem to be thrilled about. And with space and intergalactic now on the table, it might be the perfect time for Fox's two superhero team to finally interact with the likes of The Avengers and Guardians. We'll just have to see.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix will arrive in theaters November 2, 2018, and The New Mutants will arrive April 13, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.