Dark Phoenix: Your first look at 2018's incendiary X-Men movie

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Jean Grey Lights Up

In order to properly visualize the firey transformation of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) into Phoenix, the new X-Men film has a longer post-production period than usual — nearly a year. Explains director Simon Kinberg, "I wanted the post time to deliver on the nuance of the visual effects, not just the scale of them. That takes time." 

The X-Jet Logs Some Intergalactic Miles

Dark Phoenix will be the first time the X-Men venture into space as seen in this concept art. At the beginning of the film, the team is dispatched on a rescue mission but a solar flare hits the X-Jet. Jean uses her power to save the team but the extreme surge of energy unlocks the Phoenix. 

Jessica Chastain Is Out Of This World 

The Molly's Game star plays an otherwordly shapeshifter who manipulates Phoenix for her own agenda. Chastain's villain is quiet but brutal. "Simon and I were talking about the character and I said, 'I keep thinking of the vet who tells you you need to put your dog down,'" says the actress of her inspiration. "There’s something very clinical about it."

Mystique Has Gotten a Makeover 

Jennifer Lawrence's mutant is back with a new bob. And she's also more mature. "She’s grown up a lot," says Lawrence. "She’s more maternal which surprised me. She starts to get more protective of the [school] children and Charles wants to push them to prove to the world that mutants can be good for humanity and I just see them as small children."  

Jean Grey Is At War With Herself

Turner studied multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia in order to play Jean's duality. "So many scenes I have to go from broken-down Jean — that’s when she's most subsceptible to Phoenix infiltrating her — to this confident, arrogant, judgmental character within milliseconds."

The X-Men Reunite... For A Funeral?

Dark Phoenix is, well, dark as evidenced by this photo of Charles (James McAvoy), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Storm (Alexandra Shipp) mourning something or somebody. "I would call Dark Phoenix a drama," says Lawrence. "We have really great action scenes and we go to space like within the first five minutes of the movie. So it’s definitely exciting but emotionally all these characters are taking the biggest, most extreme dives than they have in the whole series."

Simon Kinberg Steps Up To Lead 

The writer/producer, seen here with Michael Fassbender who plays Erik/Magneto, had been thinking about directing for a while. Finally, one of the X-Men team pushed him. "Honestly, the person who most really wanted me to direct was Jen Lawrence," says Kinberg. "I give her credit or blame depending on how it goes."

EW's First Look at Dark Phoenix

To read more about Dark Phoenix, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
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