Dark Phoenix * is the 2019 sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse, and the twelfth installment of 20th Century Fox's X-Men film series. Simon Kinberg (frequent writer and producer of the franchise) makes his directorial debut with the film. It is set for release on June 7, 2019.
As suggested by its title, Dark Phoenix is an adaptation of the iconic X-Men story The Dark Phoenix Saga, which was previously integrated into 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, stated to be more faithful than the latter film was. Set in the early '90s, and following the successive decade trend set by previous films First Class, Days of Future Past and Apocalypse.
Dark Phoenix starts with the X-Men, now famous for their defeat of Apocalypse, with Charles Xavier pushing his students to reach heights and put themselves in more danger to improve the global image of Mutants. When sent on a rescue mission into space, the team is hit by a solar flare, which awakens the entity known as the Phoenix within Jean Grey — and nothing will ever be the same for the team.
Sophie Turner will reprise her role as Jean Grey from Apocalypse while James McAvoy (Professor X), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) will be reprising their roles as well, while Jessica Chastain has been cast as an antagonist named "Smith".
The film also has the distinction of being the last "main-series" X-Men film to be made before Disney's acquisition of Fox, with The New Mutants being the last spin-off. Afterwards, creative control over the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool film franchises will transfer from Fox to Marvel Studios going forward. Director Simon Kinberg has referred to this as the Grand Finale of the series, it being the "natural culmination" of all X-Men films up to this point, and in April 2019 was confirmed to be the official "send-off" of Fox's X-Men series. After this, the X-Men, alongside the Fantastic Four, will be rebooted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Dark Phoenix contains examples of:
- Foregone Conclusion: We already know that Scott, Storm, Xavier, Hank and Jean will survive because of the Everybody Lives ending of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
- Lucky Charms Title: While the movie forgoes having X-Men in its title, the "X" in Dark Phoenix has a circle around it (Ⓧ) like the logo for Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, which serves as the de facto X-Men logo.
- Tonight, Someone Dies: The first trailer shows that one of the X-Men will not come out alive. The second trailer strongly implies that it's Mystique who bites the dust.