20th Century Fox’s X-Men maestro Simon Kinberg will make his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix, an adaptation of one of the property’s most iconic story lines. Kinberg’s film will also bring back much of the cast of X-Men: Apocalypse, including Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Tye Sheridan. Bryan Singer, Hutch Parker and Lauren Shuler Donner will produce.
Jessica Chastain is also in talks to play the villain, reportedly an alien named Lilandra.
Dark Phoenix is an achievement years in the making for Kinberg. He wrote X-Men: The Last Stand, which attempted to tell the Jean Grey story; it wound up as a side story, angering the core fan audience. Kinberg told EW in 2015, “We ended up adding the cure plot into it so there were larger stakes and it included more of the X-Men. The Dark Phoenix story went from being the A-plot to the B-plot of the movie. What’s nice now is my hope is eventually we can tell that story again.”
It’s also a coup for Kinberg to reunite the cast, particularly Lawrence, who has been on the fence about returning to the franchise after three turns as shape-shifter Mystique.
Dark Phoenix will shoot in Montreal and is due in theaters Nov. 2, 2018.