20th Century Fox is going to town today, announcing release dates for quite a few anticipated movies. Amongst these various titles, we have confirmation that Fox is planning not one, not two, but three new X-Men movies for release in 2018, mirroring what Disney and Marvel are doing with their MCU. And they've finally confirmed that X-Men 7, as long rumored, is moving forward under the title Dark Phoenix.
It should be no secret that Fox has been planning a reboot of the classic Dark Phoenix storyline from the X-Men comics. 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, the third movie in the franchise, already covered this ground. But most fans thought director Brett Ratner, who took over for Bryan Singer, handled the material very poorly. Now, Fox is aiming to tell this story the right way.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dark Phoenix will have fan-favorite mutant Jean Grey in the lead. The story will show how Jean became host to the Phoenix Force. This cosmic entity consumes the young mutant, and eventually forces her to become a hugely destructive being. The Phoenix Force ultimately leads to the death of Jean Grey.
As previously rumored, longtime X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg is the top choice to helm X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It would mark his directorial debut. The movie is a direct follow-up to 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse. And Sophie Turner is confirmed to reprise her role as Jean Grey from that movie. No other cast members have been announced at this time. It is suspected that Tye Sheridan will reprise his role as Cyclops, with Alexandra Shipp playing Storm once again, and Kodi Smit-McPhee returning as Nightcrawler. X-Men: Apocalypse ended the First Class trilogy, and as such, the main cast of those three films are not likely to return, but it's not out of the question. Jennifer Lawrence says she's open to playing Mystique one more time. And Nicholas Hoult isn't against reprising his role as Beast.
It was confirmed earlier in the year that James McAvoy will return as Charles Xavier, and that the movie is set in the 90s this time around. There is no word on whether Michael Fassbender's Magneto will show up. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the new X-Men movie is that Hugh Jackman has retired his Wolverine character, and Logan is an important character in this story arc. We could be looking at a new young actor taking over the role next November.
Dark Phoenix will be in theaters November 2, 2018. It follows New Mutants, which arrives April 13, 2018, and the highly anticipated sequel Deadpool 2, which hits in the summer on June 1. X-Men 7 has its work cut out for it at the box office. It will be going up against Disney's live-action remake of Mulan, which promises to be another box office monster for the mouse house. It will also be going up against a huge Paramount Pictures event movie, which the studio refuses to announce at the moment.