While still not officially confirmed, it’s looking like Dark Phoenix will be the end of the main X-Men film series that began in 2000. Still, this saga looks to be wrapping things up with a bang through its new adaptation of The Dark Phoenix Saga that bares little resemblance to 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Among the many differences in Dark Phoenix is the introduction of two new characters, Selene and Red Lotus, with Selene being a nod to the Hellfire Club, the organization that played an integral role in Jean Grey being corrupted into Dark Phoenix. Here’s what director Simon Kinberg had to say about Selene’s inclusion:
One of the characters is based on a character from the comic, and the other character is sort of an amalgam of different characters from the comic and inspired by different characters. The one that’s from the comic is Selene, which is a little bit of a nod to the Hellfire Club. It’s obviously a huge part of the original Dark Phoenix Saga in the comics, and it’s not something we really explore in this film. I wanted to have something that would at least be an homage to that, and it’s also a character I always thought was cool and cool-looking.
For those unfamiliar with X-Men comic book lore, the Hellfire Club was introduced in 1980’s Uncanny X-Men #129, and with the organization’s Inner Circle at the time consisting of Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Harry Leland, Donald Pierce and Jason Wyngarde, a.k.a. Mastermind. Mastermind slowly manipulated Jean Grey into doing his bidding on behalf of the Hellfire Club, but she eventually broke free of his control and went on her infamous reign of terror, which included consuming a star. The Hellfire Club was introduced to the big screen in 2011’s X-Men: First Class, but following the death of Kevin Bacon’s Shaw, it hasn’t been seen or referenced since in that universe (presumably it collapsed). Still, Simon Kinberg decided to use Selene as a stand-in for the organization during this latest exploration of Jean’s fall from grace.
Selene is played by Kota Eberhardt in Dark Phoenix, and Simon Kinberg told CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg at WonderCon that although she’s a brand-new actress, he saw her audition tape and found her to be “really interesting.” Since Selene doesn’t have a lot of screen time in Dark Phoenix, the person who would play her needed to be “striking,” and Eberhardt was deemed the right woman for the job.
As for Red Lotus, he’s played by Andrew Stehlin, but don’t expect him to be an exact copy of how he is depicted in the comics. Simon Kinberg continued:
And then the other character is a character that, like I said, is sort of a combination of different mutants and an original creation. And that’s played by, actually, a guy who’s one of our stuntmen, and he was originally doing the stunt choreography and the coordination for it. And I was looking at him, and I was like, not only is he so good at doing the action, which is primarily what that character does in this film, but also he’s just very interesting-looking. And it turns out he can act as well, ‘cause he’s got a couple lines in the movie.
Simon Kinberg also noted that Red Lotus’ braids are connected to his powers, so some of the time the braids is real and other times they’re CGI. We have yet to learn how Selene and Red Lotus will be brought into the Dark Phoenix proceedings, but as you can see in the image at the top of the page, they will be affiliated with Magneto, perhaps indicating that they share his sentiment that Jean Grey is beyond saving and needs to be eliminated before she gets too out of control.
Dark Phoenix arrives in theaters on June 7, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on the project. For now, check out our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out this year.