Though previously confirmed for 14th February 2019, FOX has now moved the release date for the film to a significantly later date: 7th June 2019. There have been talks of major reshoots for the film, which was originally due out THIS year before moving to early 2019. So it’s not a surprise there’s been delays, but a little strange that the date-change came within forty-eight hours of a major publicity push announcing the February date. James Cameron’s Alita: Battle Angel now takes the February date for itself.
It is considered to be one of the most legendary stories in X-Men comics and, quite possibly, entire comics history. In the early 1980s writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne told ‘The Dark Phoenix Saga‘ the story of X-Men member Jean Grey’s telekenetic and telepathic powers being boosted to a massive degree by a cosmic encounter and her subsequent inability to fully control them… and the severe consequences that came with that. As well as the standard superheroic elements, the story dealt with faith, sacrifice and the way power and temptation corrupts on an emotional level – it was one of those rare occasions where readers saw a beloved, heroic character slowly turn from being a hero into a villain but still sympathising with them and the inner struggle to do the right thing.
Elements of that story were woven in to the third film in the franchise, 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. However they were generally a sub-plot to the main action and most fans felt that the story-arc, which featured Famke Janssen in the Jean Grey role, didn’t fully embrace its almost mythological potential. But the rather complicated continuity of the cinematic X-Men adventures has allowed a do-over and on
14th February 2019, 7th June 2019 the seventh X-Men film, simply entitled Dark Phoenix, will arrive in cinemas with a more faithful adaptation of that classic source material moving centre-stage.
The official blurb reads: In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.
Game of Thrones actor Sophie Turner reprises the role of Jean – which she previously played in X-Men:Apocalypse. The cast will once again feature James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Nicholas Hoult as Hank/Beast, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Erik/Magneto, Evan Peters as Pietro/Quicksilver, Tye Sheridan as Scott/Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp as Ororo/Storm, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt/Nightcrawler and franchise-newcomer Jessica Chastain in a so-far unnamed role as a major antagonist (which could be the Hellfire Club’s Emma Frost?).
We’ll find out soon enough…