The Dark Phoenix Saga is still THE seminal X-Men story, even some 37 years later. But when Fox tried to adapt it the first time in movie form with X-Men: The Last Stand, the results were, shall we say, less that totally successful. Jean Grey's story of possession by a cosmic force was reduced to an amped up version of Carrie, and worse, the Phoenix story was secondary to another plot about a mutant cure. But thanks to the whole timeline reboot that X-Men: Days of Future Past provided, Fox is going to be giving the beloved story another try with next year's X-Men: Dark Phoenix. This time, it seems the goal is to be more faithful to the source material.
And part of that source material includes the use of aliens. Specifically, the alien Shi'ar Empire. In the comics, when Dark Phoenix consumes a sun and destroys life on an inhabited world within the Empire, the Shi'ar come to Earth and demand that Jean stand trial for her crimes (this is after Professor X has helped her control her darker impulses and stop trying to kill her friends). The X-Men then fight the Shi'ar in a trial by combat on the moon, before the whole thing ends tragically for everyone. (Spoilers: In the comics, Jean dies. But then she gets better, it's all good).
While X-Men: The Last Stand shied away from any mentions of anything cosmic, let alone the Shi'ar themselves, it seems the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix will finally show the outer space side of X-Men universe on screen. In a report from the Omega Underground (via Screen Rant), we've learned that actor Toby Huss (Halt and Catch Fire) has auditioned for a role in the movie. His tapes were labeled as "Teen Spirit," which is the actual working title for Dark Phoenix; the role he was said to be playing was code-named "Hoover."
What makes us think Hoover is a code name for an alien? The character's dialogue includes a discussion of Earth folk as "a primitive people," with highlights about Earth's many languages and their defense systems. This is definitely an alien character, and no aliens are as important to The Dark Phoenix Saga than the Shi'ar. It remains to be seen just how alien they are going to go with their look in this X-Men film however--will we see Gladiator and the Imperial Guard, or maybe even the Starjammers? They may not even look the same as they do in the comics. Let's not forget that the X-Men films like to always tone things down from the colorful nature of the original books. Just because we see aliens finally doesn't mean we're getting a giant blue dude with a mohawk. Fingers crossed, though!
Another reason to think the Shi'ar are heading our way are comments made by X-Men movie producer Hutch Parker recently (again, via Screen Rant). When asked if things were about to get cosmic for our favorite mutants, he said, "That is certainly a possibility." (He said it twice, in fact!) One way or another, aliens are coming to Professor Xavier's backyard. And it's about time.
Are you excited about finally seeing some cosmic elements in the X-Men movie series? Be sure to let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: Marvel Comics
Everything you need to know about X-Men: Dark Phoenix