With X-Men: Dark Phoenix starting production last month, there haven't been a ton of updates thus far, aside from a few new cast members that have been confirmed. But now writer-director Simon Kinberg has offered a brief update on the story. During a recent interview, the director revealed that the previous six X-Men movies were known for being "human" and emotional, adding that he hopes to "ground" the story of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Here's what he had to say in a new interview.
"[We must] find a way to ground it so it's not too intergalactic."
The director's statement to Total Film (courtesy of X-Men Films) is quite interesting, since producer Bryan Singer hinted in a May 2016 interview that X-Men 7 may head to outer space, with that aspect of the X-Men comic book universe never explored before on the big screen. Still, while we know the story will follow the Dark Phoenix saga from the comics, there hasn't been many specifics about how this story will differ from both the comics, and the first Dark Phoenix saga portrayal in the divisive 2006 movie X-Men: The Last Stand.
Regardless, it has also been confirmed that this X-Men movie is set in the 1990s, following the trend set in the X-Men prequel trilogy. 2011's X-Men: First Class was set in the 1960s, with X-Men: Days of Future Past, which introduced time travel and essentially eradicated the timeline from the original X-Men trilogy, set in the 1970s, and last year's X-Men: Apocalypse set in the 1980s. It hasn't been revealed yet what specific year in the 1990s this film will be set in, but X-Men: Days of Future Past wiping out the original timeline makes it possible for this iconic story to be told once again, with a brand new cast and from a much different perspective.
The X-Men prequel trilogy stars such as James McAvoy (Professor X), Jennifer Lawrence, (Mystique), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), Evan Peters (Quicksilver) and Alexandra Shipp (Storm) are all returning for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, with several new characters coming aboard as well. After months of rumors, it was recently confirmed that Jessica Chastain will play the primary villain, Shi'ar Empress Lilandra, with Summer Fontana coming aboard to play the younger version of Jean Grey, Halston Sage coming aboard as Dazzler and Lamar Johnson signing on for an unspecified role.
Olivia Munn has also been spotted on the Montreal set recently, which means she will most likely reprise her role as Psylocke from X-Men: Apocalypse, but as of now, her casting has yet to be confirmed. X-Men: Dark Phoenix marks the feature directorial debut for Simon Kinberg, who has had a hand in writing X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, while also writing and producing the Fantastic Four reboot, creating Star Wars Rebels and much more. 20th Century Fox has set a November 2, 2018 release date for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, putting it up against Disney's live-action Mulan and Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Hopefully we'll have more on X-Men: Dark Phoenix as production continues.