X-Men: Dark Phoenix begins shooting in a month, and already we know that director Simon Kinberg wants this to be a far more faithful to the original comic book story by Chris Claremont than his last attempt at doing The Dark Phoenix Saga, the not so beloved X-Men: The Last Stand.
The folks at That Hashtag Show (via Comic Book Movie) have gotten their hands on a casting call for lead and supporting roles for the new film, and although the names given for the characters are code names -- they almost always are with these kinds of movies -- the descriptions pretty much give away who these characters really are if you are well versed in the Uncanny X-Men comics from back in the day.
If these guesses are correct, then this will be the most wildly ambitious X-Men movie do date, as it will not only introduce the cosmic/outer space element to their world with the Shi'ar Empire, but also re-introduce the Hellfire Club and seemingly introduce the Savage Land! Could we see actual dinosaurs running around in an X-Men movie? How amazing would that be??
In the video below, you can see each of the character breakdowns and just who The Hashtag Show guys think these characters really are. As an old school X-Men fan myself, I'd say their guesses are at least 90% chance of being correct, given the descriptions.
What Could This All Mean For The Movie?
So what does this all mean for the final film? Well, for starters, it means that although this might be a more comic book accurate version of The Dark Phoenix Saga, some major deviations are still going to be made, which is expected. In the original comics, Magneto and Mystique were nowhere to be found in this story, but seeing as they are major players once again in the film, they are going to have to figure out a way to work them into the story.
The new film is set to take place in 1991, eight years after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse (hopefully, they'll finally age up both Xavier and Magneto). That means that characters like Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler and Storm who were around 16 in that movie will be around 24 now, and probably fully fledged X-Men. The characters like Sunfire, Dazzler, and Mimic who are described as teenagers are probably the new students, whom the now-older X-Men are now training.
The character of 8-year old "Marie" is almost certainly Rogue. Not only did the original Bryan Singer X-Men movie give Rogue the name Marie in the first place, but in that movie, which was set around the year 2000, Rogue's age was given as 17. That puts her at about 8 years old in 1991. In the original comics, Rogue was adopted around this age by Mystique. With Jennifer Lawrence coming back, I could see her becoming a mother figure to young Rogue and restoring that bit of X-Men comics lore to the movies. Yes, in the original X-Men film, we saw Rogue's parents, but in the altered timeline they might have died, or who knows what. Days of Future Past has given the filmmakers a clean slate in this regard.
The next big WTF characters from the casting breakdown are Sauron and Luna. Both of these characters are identified with the Savage Land, a sort of hidden away Jurassic Park-style island where Magneto would do experiments and try to create new mutant life in the form of what he called "Mutates." Now, at the end of Apocalypse, Magneto calls off his war on humanity, and leaves Charles and the X-Men in a good place. The implication is he's probably going off somewhere to be alone and removed from the rest of the world -- that could easily mean the Savage Land. So the inclusion of this exotic location makes some kind of sense given where we left his character.
Of course, it's not really The Dark Phoenix Saga without the Hellfire Club attempting to seduce Jean Grey to their side, and the casting breakdowns sound very accurate to the members from the comics. Of course, the Hellfire Club was already used in X-Men: First Class, but that could always be described as one chapter of a much larger organization. This means no Sebastian Shaw or Emma Frost, but I doubt many fans will mind. The descriptions of the alien Shi'ar also mean we will be seeing much more than just Lilandra, but her Imperial Guard as well.
In any event, this seems to be shaping up to be the most comic booky X-Men film ever. Do you think it's about time, or are you turned off by all things movie Marvel mutant at this point? Be sure to let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: Marvel Comics