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

Screen Shot 2019-02-28 at 10.19.20

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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Check out everything we know about Dark Phoenix below.


When is Dark Phoenix in cinemas?

The latest X-Men movie is now in UK cinemas and will be released on the 7th June 2019 in 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.


Is Dark Phoenix good?

The reviews are in for the final X-Men movie, and they’re largely not too positive – CNET’s Sean Keane described the film as “inexplicably boring,” IndieWire described it as “by-the-numbers” and only “mildly interesting,” while the Hollywood Reporter noted it was a “whimper” of an ending to the X-Men franchise that “never remotely fulfilled its potential.”

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw said: “Sophie Turner stars in Jean Grey’s 90s-set origin story that offers glimpses of intrigue before regressing into a dull CGI-fest.”

Others were a little more balanced in their response, noting that it was an improvement on 2016 installment on X-Men: Apocalypse with some fun and imaginative moments, even if the film’s existence did end up feeling a little surplus to requirements in the now-packed superhero landscape.

“Better than Last Stand or Apocalypse but never hitting the heights of X2, Dark Phoenix thrives when its heroes are front and centre. If this is the end, it’s a solid rather than spectacular goodbye,” Empire’s Ian Freer said.

On review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes Dark Phoenix is currently rotten at 16% positive reviews.


Is there a Dark Phoenix trailer?

There are a few actually – and the second official trailer actually reveaked 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 gave 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 people, 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.

Notably, one of The Last Stand’s writers Simon Kinberg is both writer and director on Dark Phoenix, with Kinberg stating that he’s keen to have a second shot at adapting the 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 there a Stan Lee cameo?

Stan Lee (Getty)
Stan Lee (Getty)

Sadly, no – the late comic-book supremo filmed his last onscreen superhero cameo for Avengers: Endgame, and so Dark Phoenix doesn’t have a part for Stan.

However, the film is dedicated to his memory, and he’s posthumously named as an executive producer.


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.

Accordingly, as far as we could tell there was no sign of Wolverine in Dark Phoenix.


Is there a post-credits scene?

Following in the footsteps of Avengers: Endgame, Dark Phoenix has no secret scenes hidden after the final credits have rolled. Makes sense, given what’s happening with Disney…


What does the Disney/Fox deal mean for the X-Men?

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 is probably the last X-Men movie as we know them. X-tremely sad times.