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So as you may remember, there was a movie that came out last year called X-Men: Apocalypse, which was about the 600th movie released in the massively popular X-Men franchise. While the movie divided critics and fans, it was enough of a success to warrant a sequel getting the green light, which was announced to be none other than X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Perhaps the most well-known, and popular, X-Men comics story arcs are finally being adapted to the big screen. We got a hint of the power of The Phoenix toward the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, as it was Sophie Turner's, Jean Grey's, unleashing of the full potential of the Phoenix that finally allowed the team to stop Apocalypse and save the world. So really, it's no surprise that a sequel would focus on this character, considering the positive reception this received from fans.
Well, over the past few weeks we've been given our first glimpses of the forthcoming movie, and I have to say, it's all rather exciting.
Some of the first images of the movie give a glimpse into what to expect.
While the above images give us a good look at the new actors in their roles, the newest image released by Entertainment Weekly gives us some idea of what to expect from how the movie itself plays out. The image provided below shows Michael Fassbender, returning as Magneto, laying on the floor, seemingly unconscious, surrounded by armed soldiers. The context of this image is unknown, whether it's the aftermath of a misguided battle with the Phoenix itself, or something more. Perhaps Magneto has attempted to manipulate Jean Grey to employ her power for his own personal gain.
He's probably dead, though.
If Magneto has attempted to manipulate Jean Grey into using her Phoenix powers for his own cause, then this wouldn't entirely be something new. We saw something similar in X-Men: The Last Stand, in which Jean Grey, then played by Famke Janssen, struggled to control her powers, leading to Magneto, then played by Ian McKellen, winning her to his side and using her powers to win the war for Mutantkind.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix will see the main cast return; James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, among others. The inclusion of Jessica Chastain in the movie raises questions as to her yet unannounced role in the movie itself, although, as fans will see from the images, it does seem like she will be playing a pivotal role in this picture. So what shall we expect from this new release? The story is apparently set ten years after the events of Apocalypse, and will no doubt be showing the team in action as a more cohesive unit. We should expect that it'll show the growing romantic relationship between Jean Grey and Scott Summers, but as to the overall Dark Phoenix ark, how far could the movie really go when you've already featured a near world-ending event in the last movie?
Given that the Phoenix Force itself is a cosmic entity in the comics, I am hoping that X-Men will embrace some cosmic elements in the newest installment and could lead to some very interesting stories for future films if they decide to continue the franchise much further. But let's consider another possibility in our fanboy brains; with the recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney, could we maybe be given a cheeky little hint at the merging of the X-Men universe with the current massively successful Marvel Cinematic Universe? While the box office returns for Apocalypse were respectable, they were undoubtedly nowhere near where Fox would have wanted them to be for a movie that cost nearly £200 million to make, so no doubt they may be willing to do whatever it takes to try and get the geeks in theatres en-masse, even if it is to just freak out at a rumoured end credits scene.