The Dark Phoenix will rise again. After reports circulated over the plot for the X-Men: Apocalypse sequel, 20th Century Fox confirmed that the franchise will be revisiting Jean Grey’s iconic story line next year.
On Saturday, the studio announced new release dates for the next installments of the X-Men cinematic universe: Josh Boone’s New Mutants is scheduled for April 13, 2018, Deadpool 2 will now bow June 1, 2018, and Dark Phoenix will hit theaters on November 2, 2018.
The Dark Phoenix has already been seen on screen in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, adapting the comic book arc that sees Jean Grey imbued with the Phoenix Force and unleashing her untamable telekinetic abilities on the world. Director Bryan Singer, who helmed 2000’s X-Men and 2003’s X2, expressed his regret for not closing out his envisioned trilogy; he passed the director’s seat to Brett Ratner in order to direct Superman Returns, but The Last Stand remains one of the most poorly received installments of the franchise.
“I like finishing things. I like finishing this particular iteration,” Singer told Fandango in 2016. “I know X-Men 3 was quite rushed and I didn’t complete it, and I felt a little like it was probably my responsibility to do that as a filmmaker, and I didn’t.” But with X-Men: Days of Future Past came a new, edited timeline that Singer teased would “fix s—” in the cinematic universe.
Sophie Turner now portrays Jean, and X-Men: Apocalypse gave her an unmissable fiery moment that’s poised to continue in a new introduction for the Phoenix. Earlier reports claimed the film would bear the title X-Men: Supernova, but its new release features a clearer tie to the comic book arc.
Writer-producer Simon Kinberg confirmed to /Film that Supernova was the “code name.” He added the film is currently “in early stages of prep” and he’s “interested” in directing.
“I definitely would love to take another stab at the Dark Phoenix story,” Kinberg previously told EW. Turner further explained, “The seeds of Phoenix definitely are planted in [Apocalypse]. She can’t control her powers unless she either fully stops them or lets them all loose, and that’s kind of Phoenix. I think in future movies to come we’ll definitely see a bit more of that.”
Actor Josh Brolin recently signed a four-film deal to play Cable, beginning with Deadpool 2. Ryan Reynolds returns as the Merc with the Mouth for the film, which will be directed by David Leitch. Zazie Beetz will also appear as Domino, while a teaser for Deadpool 2 was released in theaters with Logan.