Fox has finally locked down the cast and production slate for the forthcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, according to Deadline, with at least one new name joining the franchise’s returning stars.
Those confirmed to return include James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey/Phoenix), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler). The same report also puts Simon Kinberg in the director’s seat (as long rumoured) and, as previously reported, Jessica Chastain likely to take the role of Shi’ar Empress Lilandra.
The return of McAvoy, Fassbender and Lawrence is particularly interesting, given that the trio were out of contract following X-Men: Apocalypse and had previously agreed with one another that they would only return to the franchise if all three did. Given the middling box-office performance of that movie, Fox must be fairly confident in X-Men: Dark Phoenix to spend money bringing back its biggest stars.
Kinberg will be making his directorial debut with the film. He was previously the writer of X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, and has been a producer on multiple instalments of the franchise.
Jessica Chastain was previously believed to be under consideration for the MCU’s Captain Marvel before the role went to Brie Larson, but this will mark her first appearance in a superhero franchise movie.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is set for release on 2 November 2018.