- "Who are we? Are we simply what others want us to be? Are we destined to a fate beyond our control? Or can we evolve? Become... something more?"
- ―Jean Grey
X-Men: Dark Phoenix, originally known as Dark Phoenix, is a sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse and the twelfth installment in the X-Men film series. It was released on June 7, 2019 and is the final film in the main series.
This is the story of one of the X-Men’s most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic DARK PHOENIX. During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all. Wrestling with this increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet. The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we’ve come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet -- one of their own.
In 1975, eight-year old Jean Grey accidentally causes a car accident, which claims the lives of her parents and leaves her as the sole survivor. Shortly after, she meets Charles Xavier, who brings her to the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters at the X-Mansion.
In the present day of 1992, eight years after the attacks on Earth by Apocalypse, the X-Men are now seen as heroes across the world, adored as superheroes. After the space shuttle Endeavor is critically damaged by a supposed solar flare during an STS-49 mission, the President of the United States requests Professor X and the X-Men to save the astronauts. While the X-Men manage to save the space crew, Jean is stranded in deep space and absorbs the solar flare into her body. Nightcrawler brings her body back into the X-Jet, with Jean surviving the event and her psychic powers greatly amplified as a result. However, they become uncontrollable and she accidentally unleashes her power on her fellow mutants at the X-Mansion, injuring her boyfriend Cyclops in the process.
Xavier reveals that he had placed mental barriers within Jean's mind to block out the trauma of the car accident; additionally, he had lied about both of her parents' dying in the accident, as it turns out her father, John Grey, is still alive. Jean leaves the X-Mansion and returns to her family home, where she encounters her family. However, she notices that there are only photos of her mother in the house, and questions her father as to why he never looked for her following the accident. After Jean informs him that she can read minds, John intentionally recalls the entire incident mentally so that Jean could see, and it is shown that Jean rendered her mother unconscious while driving, thereby killing her. As John considered his wife the most important person in his world, he resented Jean for causing his wife's death and, upon meeting Xavier, had given her custody of Jean.
The X-Jet then arrives on the street and the X-Men corner Jean, who retaliates, injuring Quicksilver and killing Mystique in the process. Jean also attacks police officers, prompting public reception towards her and mutants in general to become sour. Jean then travels to Genosha, a mutant safe haven run by Magneto, and asks him for help to prevent herself from killing more people. However, he orders her to leave after she engages in combat with U.S. military forces tasked with her arrest. Around this time, a shape-shifting alien race known as the D'Bari arrive on Earth with the purpose of harnessing the cosmic flare inside Jean in order to conquer Earth. Vuk, the leader of the D'Bari, encounters Jean and explains to her that what she absorbed was not a solar flare but in fact a cosmic energy entity that was responsible for eradicating the D'Bari home planet years ago. The power had consumed all those it came across with the exception of Jean.
Back at the X-Mansion, Beast blames Xavier for Raven's death. Defecting from the X-Men, he flees the X-Mansion using the X-Jet and flies to Genosha, informing Magneto that Jean had murdered Mystique. He then joins Magneto, Ariki and Selene in traveling to New York City in order to assassinate Jean and avenge Mystique. Using Cerebro, Xavier realizes what their goal is and recruits Cyclops, Storm and Nightcrawler to save Jean's life. During the battle, both Magneto and Professor X encounter Jean, although Magneto is knocked out while Professor X is forced to walk without his wheelchair. While Xavier can no longer read Jean's mind, she can read his, and he shows her the memory he had with his father, where he expressed support and hope for Jean. The memory reasserts Jean's original personality, and she spares Xavier. She is then tempted by Vuk to transfer the cosmic energy to her; while Vuk is able to absorb some of it, she is struck by Cyclops before the transfer is completed. The military then intervenes, using collars that disable mutant powers to apprehend Professor X, Jean, Magneto, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Ariki and Selene, while Vuk manages to escape.
While on the train, one of the soldiers berates Nightcrawler, informing him that his son adored him prior to their actions. Meanwhile, Xavier informs Beast that he was wrong for what he had done to Jean, but that the real Jean still exists within; Cyclops also tells Beast and Magneto that Mystique had died believing that, and that she wouldn't have wanted them to kill Jean. The train is then attacked by Vuk and the D'Bari, who easily overpower the soldiers. Nightcrawler convinces the soldier whose son had idolized them to free them, and he does so; the X-Men and Magneto's faction proceed to team up to attack the D'Bari, although they are unable to defeat Vuk, who subdues them all.
Xavier apologizes to Jean for what he had done, explaining that he just wished to give her what he deserved every child deserved – love and family. Jean then frees herself from her restraints, declaring that she would protect her family. Jean shields Magneto and her fellow X-Men while destroying the train they are on. She then swiftly disintegrates the remaining D'Bari forces before being attacked by Vuk, who begins to absorb Jean's remaining cosmic power. As Jean attempts to use the power to eliminate Vuk as well, she realizes that Cyclops is beginning to disintegrate as well. Knowing that she cannot unleash her energy on Earth without harming innocents, Jean takes a hold of Vuk and flies into space, where she reabsorbs the cosmic energy and explodes, killing Vuk and seemingly herself as well.
The remaining X-Men return to New York, where the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is renamed the Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters. Xavier retires from his position as Headmaster, granting the position to Beast, and moves to Paris, France, where he encounters Magneto, who requests they play a game of chess and offers him a home, just as Xavier had done for him before.
- James McAvoy as Charles Xavier/Professor X
- Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
- Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme/Mystique
- Nicholas Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast
- Sophie Turner as Jean Grey/Phoenix
- Summer Fontana as Young Jean Grey
- Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers/Cyclops
- Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe/Storm
- Evan Peters as Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver
- Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler
- Jessica Chastain as Vuk / Margaret
- Scott Shepherd as John Grey
- Ato Essandoh as Jones
- Brian d'Arcy James as President of the United States
- Halston Sage as Dazzler
- Lamar Johnson as Match
- Hannah Anderson as Elaine Grey
- Andrew Stehlin as Ariki
- Kota Eberhardt as Selene Gallio
In May 2016, Kinberg said the next X-Men film will be set in the 1990s. He also acknowledged the possibility of re-adapting "The Dark Phoenix Saga" for the new timeline, which had originally been a part of the first X-Men trilogy films, and said the post-credits scene mentioning the Essex Corporation was related to Logan, and that it could have ties to Gambit as well as the following X-Men film. It was reported that the film will be set in 1991 and will shoot under the title Teen Spirit. Bryan Singer said he would be interested in having the villain Proteus in an X-Men film. He also said he will be stepping away from the franchise but could envision returning to it at a later date in some capacity.
On November 9, 2016, Kinberg announced to The Hollywood Reporter that the film series would start a soft reboot with him working on the a new script and having Lawrence, Fassbender, Hoult and McAvoy optimistically in mind. The film will commence filming in May 2017 with the working title of X-Men: Supernova.
In February 2017, McAvoy has dropped some hints on his return to the franchise and Collider reports that Kinberg is in talks to write and direct the next film. Donner told Vanity Fair in a recent interview that the next film won't explore the Erik/Charles dynamic but will explore other characters. It was announced that the film will start production from June to September of 2017.
Kinberg said at the start of March 2017 that he and producer Hutch Parker had begun early prep on the film, and that "Supernova" was just a code name they had been using for the sequel. He said that they had begun discussing the story for the film during post-production on Apocalypse, and that they wanted to do "something bold and radical and expand the universe in the same way that Logan feels bold and radical and certainly Deadpool does as well." A week following the release of Logan, Lana Condor, who played the mutant Jubilee in the film, shared a piece of fanart of her character on her Instagram account. In it, she proclaimed that she misses playing the character, and wants to "hang again soon". Through the caption is a relatively vague indication that Condor wants to reprise her role in Teen Spirit, it will certainly come as a welcomed piece of news for fans of Jubilee.
In April, Fox officially titled the film Dark Phoenix, and gave it a release date of November 2, 2018.
In May, Fassbender indicated that he would be returning for the film, and Parker soon hinted that a young version of the character Rogue could appear, and that the film could possibly explore the cosmic elements of the "Dark Phoenix" storyline.
In June 2017, the Shi'ar alien race was rumored to be featured in the film, and Angelina Jolie was being looked at for a role, though she was not expected to accept the part. On June 14, it was confirmed that Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, and Kodi Smit-McPhee will all reprise their roles, and the potential newcomer, Jessica Chastain, was in talks to play the film's villain, Lilandra Neramani, empress of the Shi'ar Empire. During the same month, in Boston, the cast members of Josh Boone's New Mutants have also started to bond ahead of their production start date on July 10. On June 23, it was reported by Entertainment Weekly that the light-emitting pop star mutant, Dazzler will appear, but only in a small role after being hinted at in a scene that was ultimately deleted from Apocalypse and there is no plan at the moment to have Taylor Swift play her. Before the end of the month, Evan Peters was confirmed to be returning to reprise his role as Quicksilver, and Lamar Johnson would also be joining the film as well in an unspecified role. Principal photography began on June 28, 2017, in Montreal, under the working title Teen Spirit.
On July 14, along with Tye Sheridan reprising his role as Cyclops from X-Men: Apocalypse, a new set photo reveals him donning a new visor for his character. Sheridan's new look has been noted to closely resemble James Marsden's portrayal of Cyclops from the original X-Men films. During the same month, it was heavily speculated that Olivia Munn would be reprising her role as Psylocke for X-Men: Dark Phoenix. With principal photography on Dark Phoenix expected to get underway within the month, the implication is that Munn will either have a larger role to play this time around and/or is filming her scenes in the next X-Men movie earlier during production. While promoting The LEGO Ninjago Movie at San Diego Comic-Con, Munn was vague about her future with the X-Men film franchise during an interview on MTV news. Though unclear, Munn's vagueness implies that she's considering returning for X-Men: Dark Phoenix. During the interview, she revealed that her character's big fight scene with Beast was only 25 percent of it's original length, as well as revealing her plans to make her own special director's cut of the said film. Towards the end of July, Summer Fontana, from Basic Witches and The Originals, had posted a photo from Montreal to her Twitter account. Although the caption of the picture says nothing specific about taking part in the X-Men film, this seems telling because X-Men: Dark Phoenix is shooting in the Canadian city. At the end of the month, it was announced that Summer Fontana was cast to portray young Jean Grey for X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
At the beginning of August, Jessica Chastain confirmed via an Instagram post that she has joined the cast of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and is heading to Montreal for filming. She was interested in the story, after turning down roles in other superhero films, due to its focus on female characters. Following Jessica Chastain's confirmation, on August 7, it was reported that According to That Hashtag Show, Kota Eberhardt has joined the production as "Luna" - with speculation pointing to either Hellfire Club member Selene, or Layla Miller. In addition, Scott Sheperd is also said to have been cast in the role of Jean Grey's father. In the same report, Evan Jonigkeit and Gregg Lowe are returning to reprise their respective roles as Toad and Ink from Days of Future Past. Later towards the end of that month, Kinberg stated that he wanted the film to be "human" and emotional like the previous X-Men films, and that he was looking to ground the "Dark Phoenix Saga" story for his adaptation "so it’s not too intergalactic".
In early September, Jessica Chastain revealed that she wouldn't be portraying Lilandra Neramani for the film, leaving her role undisclosed. Later on in the month, Daniel Cudmore had confirmed that he would be appearing in the film, but could not confirm whether he would be reprising his role of Colossus from previous films in the franchise or if he would be portraying a new character. On September 26, 2017, in an interview with Collider, Olivia Munn confirmed that she would be reprising her role of Psylocke in the film, and described Dark Phoenix as "a two parter". Filming was completed in Montreal on October 14, 2017.
Towards the end of November, Simon Kinberg, revealed his plans to show how powerful Jean Grey’s Phoenix persona can be, and is willing to do it at the expense of one of the actors who has been with the franchise since the "X-Men: First Class": Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, James McAvoy’s Professor X, Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult’s Beast, all of whom are returning for X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It was announced that Kinberg is holding nothing back and that in a moment when Jean’s powers are on full display, they will become too much for the hero to handle. At that point, with her powers out of control, Jean will impale one of the characters mentioned above, unequivocally killing that character.
On December 7, Kinberg revealed that the film would be in post-production for almost a year, longer than usual for the series, because he wanted to take the time to get the visual effects right by focusing on the "nuance" of the effects rather than the scale. He also explained that he "felt in his gut" that this was the story that he needed to tell once Singer left the franchise, and that his vision for the film was "so clear in my head, emotionally and visually, that it would have killed me to hand this to somebody else to direct". On the same day, Entertainment Weekly released the cover of its Dec. 15/22 "First Look Issue", and confirmed the official synopsis for Dark Phoenix, as well as the year that the film’s setting will be taking place in 1992. Entertainment Weekly also revealed new images of the film, as well as more information on the role that Jessica Chastain will have in the film. Chastain was originally reported to portray Lilandra Neramani, but Entertainment Weekly doesn’t reveal her character’s name, and only says that the actress will play "an otherworldly shapeshifter". The film was described as being the most sinister and somber of the franchise, with McAvoy finding it to be the most emotional of the X-Men films he had worked on. It becomes a "fight for Jean’s soul" and features a twist that was intended to have significant repercussions on the entire franchise. Jennifer Lawrence revealed that she had worked to convince Kinberg to direct the film, and had promised to return for it if he did so, despite her dislike of the make-up required to portray her character.
In pitching the film to the studio, Kinberg used real world imagery such as disaster footage or lightning strikes, and focused on an organic and relevant approach as a response to criticisms of Apocalypse's heightened reality On December 9, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that the film will also feature a version of the iconic, mutant-friendly Island of Genosha, adapted to the film as a mutant refuge led by Magneto. Afterwards, the cast and crew of X-Men: Dark Phoenix revealed that the film will be a tribute to its female superheroes, focusing on the female characters more so than previous films in the series, particularly Jean Grey as both the hero and villain of the film, and Chastain's character with whom Grey has a complex relationship.
At the beginning of January 2018, the alias of the character that Jessica Chastain will be portraying was confirmed to be "Smith".
On March 27, 2018, Fox pushed the film back from its previously scheduled release date of November 2, 2018 to February 14, 2019. According to sources from Collider, X-Men: Dark Phoenix had a test screening to determine which aspects of the film needed to be improved on. Due to the cast's availability, additional photography could only take place in August or September of 2018. As a result, the film's release date was moved forward so that the production team had enough time to work on the visual effects in post-production which will be completed before the November 2018 release date. Specifically, Kinberg was looking to rework the third act of the film, and would re-write part of the script ahead of the reshoots. With post-production already underway, the film was believed to have been under-budget, while the planned reshoots would cost less than $10 million. Additionally, Kinberg and the studio had been looking to change the film's release date for "some time" to avoid competing with the Christmas-oriented film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The new February release date was noted as having the film release away from any other major studio films, while placing it on President's Day weekend which proved to be successful for Deadpool and Marvel's Black Panther.
At the end of April 2018, a Fox panel at the 2018 CinemaCon revealed the first logo for the film. It did not include "X-Men" in the title, but included a circle around the 'X' in Dark Phoenix which was compared to the X-Files logo.
During early May, when addressing the reshoots, Kinberg confirmed the scheduling delays, and described the photography as a "normal" part of the film's creation that would allow him "enough time to have it ready and looking perfect". 
On June 12, 2018, the first teaser trailer for the film was released at CineEurope. 
According to Kinberg, the first unit photography reshoots lasted two and a half weeks. They were focused mainly on reworking the third act, but minor aspects of the first two acts had to be adjusted to ensure that Dark Phoenix felt fluid and consistent. 
Dark Phoenix was originally slated to be released on February 14, 2019. After gaining 44 million views in the first 24 hours of the trailer being released online in China, Dark Phoenix was moved to June 7, 2019 to maximize its success at the Chinese box office. Kinberg also noted that because the visual effects for the film would not be ready for a global release, Dark Phoenix was given the June date in place of Gambit, which had not begun production yet. In addition to the popularity of the X-Men movies in China, the June date would give Dark Phoenix access to more screens globally. 
- Dark Phoenix - Official Synopsis
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|X-Men film series|