Jessica Chastain recently spoke about the box office failure that was Dark Phoenix, the final Fox X-Men film from 2019. Chastain mentioned that she didn't even know her character's name until she saw the film. In a recent interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Chastain spoke about the superhero flop and the messy production that went on behind the scenes.
"I think the studio was bought at a certain point," Jessica Chastain said, referring to the eventual merger of Fox and Disney. "I didn't even know what my character's name was until I saw the film. What's happening?"
Chastain then spoke about working with Simon Kinberg, the director of Dark Phoenix. Her experience working with the X-Men producer was positive and the two appear to have a good work relationship with each other. "It was an interesting thing. Simon Kinberg, who directed it, is an incredible human being, and I've worked with him again [on The 355]; I love him," Chastain said.
Dark Phoenix ended up being delayed prominently due to the long post-production and consistent reshoots. These reshoots were in part due to negative test screenings that Fox wasn't happy with. The film was also rewritten several times, changing the antagonists around which could explain why Chastain had no idea who her character was. According to CBR, "the film was originally going to feature the Hellfire Club and the return of Emma Frost. They were ultimately replaced by Skrulls during rewrites, which were replaced by the D'Bari in further rewrites."
When Dark Phoenix finally debuted, it received harsh reviews from critics and audiences, along with a shockingly bad debut for an X-Men film. According to Screenrant, the film ended up losing more money than any film in 2019. It "posted a total loss of $133 million after topping out at $252 million at the global box office." It's also the lowest grossing X-Men movie, besides The New Mutants, but that's its own mess.
In the film, Chastain plays Vuk, the leader of the D'Bari people who escaped their planet before it was destroyed. The D'Bari can take the identity of others, an ability very similar to the Skrulls seen in Captain Marvel. Vuk sought to harness the power of the dark phoenix that Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) had absorbed.
Chastain mentioned in the interview that she enjoys playing supervillains and wouldn't want to play a superhero due to the extensive contract and commitments that come with these roles now.
"Give me a supervillain; I don't want to be a superhero because if you're a superhero, you're doing ten films," she said. "I don't want to sign a ten-year contract."
Chastain has two new projects out now. One is Scenes of a Marriage, a new show on HBO, co-starring Oscar Isaac. The other is The Eyes of Tammy Faye where she plays the late televangelist. The film is about the rise of Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) in the world of religious broadcasting. Chastain is already entering the Oscar conversation with her performance in the film. This news originated at NME.