Jessica Chastain to Play Iconic X-Men Character in ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’

Drew Dietsch
Movies Marvel
Movies Marvel Comics

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is starting to ramp up production and that means news! One of the interesting aspects of the film has been who the villain will be. The story will center around Jean Grey and her transformation into the Dark Phoenix. This has left fans to wonder whether other elements of the Dark Phoenix story will be adapted. Well, it looks like that answer is a big yes.

Say Hello to the Shi’ar Empire

jessica chastain x-men

Jessica Chastain is reportedly in talks to play Lilandra Neramani in the film. Lilandra is one of the royal family members in the Shi’ar Empire. Yes, the X-Men films are finally going to start bringing aliens into the mix. It’s likely that Marvel’s cosmic expansion has finally made this a possibility. Great! The cosmic side of the X-Men universe is a blast and the Shi’ar Empire is a great way to introduce that.

But more importantly, Jessica Chastain is joining the X-Men universe! Chastain is an absolute powerhouse in nearly every film she’s in. The fact that she’s going to be lending her talent to X-Men: Dark Phoenix makes this project even more enticing. And considering that Lilandra and Charles Xavier have often been romantically entangled in the comics means we might see Chastain and James McAvoy together on-screen quite a bit. They are two stellar thespians and seeing them together is enough to have me buy my ticket right now.

x-men dark phoenix professor x lilandra cartoon
Professor X and Lilandra in the '90s X-Men cartoon

The actual conflict of the story could be a step up from the doofy inclusion of Apocalypse in the last film. The Shi’ar Empire is going to be coming after Jean Grey in order to imprison (or destroy) the Phoenix Force inside of her. This will pit them against the X-Men since Jean is one of them, but the Shi’ar are probably trying to do what’s best for the galaxy. The Phoenix Force is a dangerous and destructive entity. Making the villains of the film have good intentions could inject some complicated conflict into the series.

Simon Kinberg is writing and directing this entry. Kinberg has been with the X-Men films for a long, long time. X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be his directorial debut. Here’s hoping it does the comics justice and brings something fresh to the X-Men film series.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix will release on November 2, 2018.

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