X-Men Star Jessica Chastain Didn’t Learn Something Very Important About Her Character Until She Watched Dark Phoenix

In 2019, the main X-Men film series at then-20th Century Fox concluded with Dark Phoenix, which followed nearly 20 years after the first X-Men movie came out. This story featured Jessica Chastain as Vuk, the leader of the shapeshifting D’Bari who was intent on destroying the Phoenix entity within Jean Grey. But as it turns out, Chastain was missing a key piece of information about her character during the filming of Dark Phoenix, and didn’t learn it until the movie came out: the name.

Jessica Chastain revealed this astounding piece of information in an interview with Happy Sad Confused host Josh Horowitz while noting about how she and Scenes from a Marriage costar Oscar Isaac talked about their experiences playing X-Men villains, with Isaac having played Apocalypse in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Here’s what Chastain had to say about how her time as Vuk:

The reality is our situations were very different. My situation, I think the studio was bought at a certain point. I didn’t even know what my character’s name was until I saw the film… It was an interesting thing. But Simon Kinberg who directed it is an incredible human being and I’d work with him again. I love him.

What’s interesting is that Disney didn’t announce its intention to purchase 20th Century Fox until towards the end of 2017, with the deal being finalized in March 2019. Dark Phoenix’s principal photography unfolded between June to October of 2017. So there’s no reason why the lengthy process of the Mouse House acquiring Fox should have resulted in Jessica Chastain not knowing her character’s name during that time. Even accounting for the extensive reshoots that took place in late 2018 to rework Dark Phoenix’s third act, surely that wouldn’t have affected the identity of Chastain’s character for the entirety of the movie, right?

Still, despite being left in the dark, Jessica Chastain enjoyed working with Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg, who made his feature directorial debut with that movie after having been a writer/producer in the X-Men franchise since 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. As a matter a fact, they did end up collaborating again on The 355, the action movie co-starring Lupita Nyong’o, Diana Kruger and Penélope Cruz that’s coming out next January. Will Chastain and Kinberg team up for a third movie? Let’s wait and see.

As for Dark Phoenix, it proved to be critically and commercially underwhelming, ranking at just 22% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes and only pulling in $252 million worldwide off a reported $200 million budget, making it the lowest grossing movie in the main X-Men film series. Fox’s X-Men era would finally wrap up for good with 2020’s The New Mutants, and now the plan is for the mutant-led property to be rebooted within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the exception of Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson, who will stick around for Deadpool 3.

Jessica Chastain can be seen starring alongside Andrew Garfield in The Eyes of Tammy Faye starting tomorrow, September 17, while new episode of Scenes from a Marriage air Sunday nights on HBO. Keep your eyes locked on CinemaBlend for news concerning the next chapter of the X-Men’s cinematic history.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.