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After Lilandra, Who Else Should Be In X-MEN’s Dark Phoenix Saga Movie?

After Lilandra, Who Else Should Be In X-MEN’s Dark Phoenix Saga Movie?

At long last, the Phoenix is coming! After months of rumors, The Hollywood Reporter has finally confirmed that the next X-Men movie will be based on the Dark Phoenix Saga, one of the most beloved storylines in Marvel Comics history. Even better, Jessica Chastain is already in talks to play Lilandra, a prominent character in the cosmic cast of X-Men characters… (and the villain of the movie, for some reason?)

If you know anything about how the Dark Phoenix Saga plays out, you’ll know that this is an interesting choice for the character. If you don’t, here’s a short breakdown (spoiler alert!): after the X-Men help Lilandra (that’d be Jessica Chastain) save the world in a cosmic battle, Jean Grey fuses with an entity known as the Phoenix and becomes more powerful than ever before. But the Phoenix begins to corrupt her to the point where she straight-up destroys an entire planet full of innocent life, and Lilandra, ever the pragmatic ruler, feels obligated to put her to death. I suppose that makes her a villain in that she’s trying to kill one of our heroes, but it’s much more complicated than that in practice. Although, if it means Jessica Chastain gets to play her character more arch and conniving, then I am extremely for that.

A Dark Phoenix crash course

Of course, Lilandra isn’t the only cosmic character who’s important to the Phoenix Saga; first time director Simon Kinberg et al are going to have to introduce a huge number of aliens if they’re going to faithfully recreate the comic. It’s definitely possible, of course—just look at how Guardians Of The Galaxy and Thor 3 seem to be managing! If the movie goes down that route, here are some of the key players who will probably get a shout out:

D’Ken

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Like I said, it’s interesting that The Hollywood Reporter would classify Lilandra as the villain, because when she first meets the X-Men she’s way more of a Damsel in Distress. Her brother, D’Ken, rules the Shi’ar Empire with an iron fist, but when he threatens to use a powerful cosmic artifact that could destroy the entire universe, Lilandra enlists the help of the X-Men to stop him and take control of the empire. If Lilandra’s later quest to stop the Phoenix Force is the focus of the movie, it makes sense not to have him play the Big Bad, but it would be weird if he didn’t get a namedrop at the very least.

Deathbird

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Cal’syee, a.k.a. Deathbird, is the sister of D’Ken and Lilandra. True to what her name would suggest, she is not a good person, and constantly tries to usurp the throne from Lilandra. If Lilandra’s the villain of this movie, though, there’s plenty of opportunity for Deathbird to be her henchman, perhaps?

Gladiator and The Imperial Guard

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Every empress has her bodyguards; Lilandra’s are known as the Imperial Guard, and they’re led by Gladiator. They were also deliberately designed by Marvel artist Dave Cockrum to be a rip-off of the Legion Of Super-Heroes, a team he drew for DC Comics. Listen, if Fox can bring a comic-accurate version of Gladiator, complete with his goofy red tights and sick mohawk, I will forgive them completely for The Last Stand.

The Starjammers

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The most succinct way I can describe the Starjammers is that they’re basically the Guardians of the Galaxy, but for the X-Men. Their leader is Corsair, a human who was abducted by D’Ken and who also happens to be Cyclops’ long lost dad; there’s also Hepzibah, Ch’od, Raza Longknife, and together the four of them basically play the Rebel Alliance to D’Ken’s Evil Empire. They don’t feature much in the Phoenix Saga beyond helping the X-Men stop D’Ken, but come on, would you give up the chance to force some daddy issues on Scott Summers?

Mastermind

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Okay, he’s not cosmic, but this guy has a lot to do with why the Phoenix goes bad in the comics; uses telepathic illusions to basically gaslight Jean Grey into believing they are immortal soulmates, and it messes with her brain so much that Phoenix emerges and loses it. It’s not pretty. I could see Fox dropping this character, I suppose, but I kind of hope they don’t, because boy do I love a good story where a girl gets to dramatically punish her abuser.

Are there any X-Men aliens you’re excited to see make it to the big screen? (Don’t say Binary, that’s never gonna happen) Let us know all about it in the comments below!

Images: Marvel

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