When is Dark Phoenix in cinemas? Who stars in it and what’s it about?

The conclusion of the X-Men saga sees Sophie Turner go nuclear

Sophie Turner as Jean Grey in X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Fox)

In new X-Men movie Dark Phoenix, Sophie Turner takes centre stage as Jean Grey, whose descent into darkness means her fellow heroes must turn against her for their own sake – and the sake of the world.

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Ahead of its release, check out everything we know about Dark Phoenix below.


When is Dark Phoenix in cinemas?

The latest X-Men movie is set to be released on the 7th June 2019 in the UK and the USA – but it’s been quite a journey for it to arrive at its release date.

Originally, the film was scheduled to be released on 2nd November 2018, but was pushed back to February 14th the following year instead.

However, shortly after debuting the movie’s first trailer with the Valentine’s Day release date Fox pushed the movie AGAIN to its current date, making some fans a bit nervous about its future. For now, at least, it seems locked in for June.


Is there a Dark Phoenix trailer?

There are a few actually – and the second official trailer actually reveals a pretty big spoiler from the film about the death of a major character, which we won’t mention here in case you’ve managed to avoid it so far.

The first international trailer also gives away this plot point.

The initial footage gave away far fewer details, and is soundtracked to The Doors’ This is the End, hinting at Dark Phoenix’s status as the final chapter in the X-Men saga.


What’s the Dark Phoenix story? 

Based on Chris Claremont’s iconic X-Men run of the 1980s (specifically The Dark Phoenix Saga), the new X-Men film sees the team of mutants forced to face one of their own when powerful telekinetic and telepath Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) is possessed by a powerful extra-terrestrial force.

Manipulated by a mysterious figure (played by Jessica Chastain) with illusion abilities and turning against her friends, Jean ends up becoming a super-powered menace that even murders one of her own friends, and it’s up to the X-Men to bring her round or take her down before it’s too late.


Does Dark Phoenix have the same plot as X-Men 3?

Well spotted. Brett Ratner’s closing chapter to the original X-Men series (before they went down the prequel route with the more recent movies) also adapted the Dark Phoenix saga, and ended up with an uber-powered Jean murdering Professor X and Cyclops and being mercy killed by Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.

However, following the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) that timeline has been erased, making this a new version of the same story.


Who stars in Dark Phoenix? 

Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner takes the lead role after previously playing Jean Grey in 2016’s X-Men Apocalypse, with her fellow trainee X-Men from that movie – Tye Sheridan’s Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp’s Storm and Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler – also rejoining the saga.

Dark Phoenix will also see the return of the X-Men actors who’ve starred in the franchise since 2011’s X-Men: First Class, including James McAvoy’s Professor X, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique and Nicholas Hoult’s Beast.

Evan Peters, who made his debut as super-fast mutant Quicksilver in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, is also set to return, with series newbie Chastain rounding out the group.


Is Wolverine in Dark Phoenix?

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan in Logan (20th Century Fox, HF)
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan in Logan (20th Century Fox, HF)

Traditionally, X-Men movies have always included a role for Hugh Jackman’s fan-favourite fast-healing mutant Wolverine, be that a quick cameo or a longer, more drawn-out appearance – but following the actor’s emotional, critically-acclaimed turn in 2017’s spin-off Logan, Jackman has said he’s leaving the role behind.

If true, this could be the first X-Men movie without Wolverine appearing at all.


What does the Disney/Fox deal mean for Dark Phoenix?

As you may have heard, Disney are currently in the process of acquiring 20th Century Fox, the studios that owns the X-Men brand and makes the movies.

Given that Disney also owns and creates the popular Marvel superhero movies, fans have been excited that the deal means the X-Men could join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, interacting with Spider-Man, Thor et al onscreen as they do in the Marvel comics (Marvel comics sold the rights to the X-Men long before they started to build their own studio empire).

The downside to this, if it happens? It probably means waving goodbye to the versions of the characters that have existed over the last eight years, with rebooted, new versions of the X-Men introduced into the Marvel universe if they do end up taking this path (notably, it’s what they did when adding Spider-man, who belongs to ANOTHER separate studio, into the fold).

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All of which is to say that X-Men: Dark Phoenix could be the last X-Men movie as we know them. Assuming Jean leaves any of our heroes standing anyway…