Deadline is exclusively reporting that Simon Kinberg will be directing the next installment of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and Jessica Chastain is in talks to join cast.
It’s been long rumoured that Simon Kinberg will be making his directorial debut here with a franchise he’s writing and producing on for over a decade. The report states that 20th Century Fox have pencilled Dark Phoenix for the release date of 2nd November 2018 and that Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Kodi Smit-McPhee will all be reprising their roles.
The report states that Jessica Chastain is in talks with the studio to play the supposed main villain, which will be Shi’ar Empress Lilandra. In the Marvel Comics, Lilandra Neramini is the Princess-Majestrix of the Shi’ar Empire, a humanoid species with avian-like attributes, that became a longtime love interest of Professor Charles Xavier. In the comics Phoenix Saga storyline once Jean becomes the Dark Phoenix, Lilandra leads the Imperial Guard to Earth to imprison and execute the Phoenix after she destroys an inhabited planet. Production is set to commence soon in Montreal.
It’s interesting that the reports coming out are saying that Chastain is in talks to play the villain role as Lilandra is technically not really a villain, which will make sense if the film will stick with the original Dark Phoenix storyline. The question becomes how faithful will this installment of X-Men: Dark Phoenix be to the Phoenix Saga?
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is scheduled for cinematic release on the 2nd November 2018.