Of all the 3 “X-Men” films slated for release next year, details regarding “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” have been kept under wraps for the most part.
However, the latest casting news for the X-Men spinoff confirms a long-running rumour – the franchise is finally exploring the cosmic side of Marvel’s mutant heroes. The Hollywood Reporter claims that Jessica Chastain is currently in negotiations to play the main villain in “Dark Phoenix”.
According to the publication, the 40-year-old actress is in talks to play Empress Lilandra. As the leader of an alien empire called the Shi’ar, Lilandra is described as the film’s antagonist because of her intention to imprison and execute Jean Grey, who would later go on to be the Dark Phoenix.
This brings Lilandra in direct conflict with the X-Men team. Written by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Lilandra also commands an alien super-team named the Imperial Guard (a humanoid species with avian-like attributes). However, in the comics, Lilandra was the love interest of Charles Xavier.
Speaking of Charles Xavier, James McAvoy (Professor X), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) will all reprise their roles in the Simon Kinberg-directed movie.
Should Chastain accept the role of Lilandra, this would be her first major role in a superhero movie franchise. This is also the first time franchise is introducing the popular X-Men character, Lilandra, on the big screen.
“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” is slated to be released 2nd November 2018.