For the longest time, Jessica Chastain’s role in “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” has been a mystery.
Many assumed that the Oscar nominated actress was playing Princess Lilandra of the Shi’Ar Empire when it was revealed she was taking on a character named Smith – an “otherworldly shapeshifter”.
[P/s: There will be spoilers from the final instalment of the Fox franchise as we dived into Chastain’s character, so read at your own risk.]
Now that “Dark Phoenix” has finally hit theatres, we finally know that the 42-year-old actress plays 2 characters in the movie. When she first appears onscreen, Chastain is a suburban wife named Margaret. Curious at what is bothering her agitated dog, Luna, she leaves her dinner party to investigate her backyard.
There, she’s attacked and killed by a group of shape-shifting alien race called the D’Bari. Led by their leader Vuk (who takes on Margaret’s form), the villains seeks to obtain Jean Grey’s power to resurrect the D’Bari race and begin again after their home planet was destroyed by the Phoenix Force.
Longtime “X-Men” fans will notice that the movie version of Vuk is rather different from the comic books. Vuk was originally depicted as a male while the D’Bari aren’t even shape-shifters in the comics. But adjustments had to be made during reshoots in order to coincide with the storyline.
“My character changed a lot, which is an interesting thing because I’m not playing someone from the comics,” Chastain revealed. “So it was always every day trying to figure out, ‘Who am I? Who is the mystery that is this character?’ And then understanding with the reshoots, ‘Oh, it’s changing again.’ It was a constant evolution . . . So yeah, my character changed.”
Writer/director Simon Kinberg also shared that Vuk in the movie took inspirations from Lilandra, Emma Frost and Mastermind. “There were a lot of things from the original Dark Phoenix saga that I left out in order to serve as the more emotional and go really deep with Jean, things like the Hellfire Club and Lilandra and her relationship with Charles that I felt like deserved their own entire movie,” he said.
“I started looking at different characters in the D’Bari mythos and Vuk was a character who became part of not just the Dark Phoenix story but sort of the X-Men universe. The character is still the sort of compendium of a lot of different characters that people would know from comics,” the filmmaker added.
“Dark Phoenix” is currently playing in cinemas.