Director Simon Kinberg is here to tease a bit of what to expect with Jessica Chastain’s mystery villain in Dark Phoenix, but he’s still not prepared to reveal who the actress is playing just yet. Even with the release of the first Dark Phoenix teaser trailer, Chastain’s identity in the upcoming X-Men movie is truly up in the air. In a recent interview, Kinberg was kind enough to rule out one popular theory, saying that she’s not playing a gender-swapped version of Mastermind. Here’s what Kinberg had to say about it.
“I will say that Jessica’s character is not Mastermind but there are elements of the way Mastermind manipulates Jean that Jessica’s character does employ. For me, as you’ll see, that Jessica’s character has elements of a few different characters from the comics.”
Based on what he’s saying here, it sounds like this could be some sort of Frankenstein’s monster of comic book villains smashed into one. The other popular theory was that Jessica Chastain was playing Lilandra, ruler of the Shi’ar Empire, but that was also shot down. Speaking a bit further, but only vaguely, Simon Kinberg dug into the character a bit more and explained how they are trying to not make the same mistakes that were made during the production of The Last Stand, which had previously attempted to adapt the Dark Phoenix storyline.
“She is from, let’s say, not our planet, her character. I’ll keep it relatively mysterious but it is a cosmic story in a way that is extraterrestrial, which is something we’ve never done in the X-Men movies before but is obviously something that is integral to the Dark Phoenix story so I felt we couldn’t’ do what we did on X3 and ignore that. We had to actually embrace it. So there’s a fair amount that takes place in space, and the inciting incident that starts to turn Jean, let’s say, dark and fill her with this power that she can’t control happens in space. And then there are forces from space that come to Earth because of that.”
This movie has had its release date delayed, is currently undergoing reshoots and its status was put in doubt at one point, given the looming Disney merger with Fox. But at the very least, it sounds like they’re trying to stick a bit closer to the source material this time around. Sophie Turner, who plays Jean Grey, also talked a bit about her relationship with Jessica Chastain’s character in the upcoming comic book flick.
“It’s an interesting one and I don’t want to spill too much about it but basically Jessica’s character is very interested in this power that I’ve kind of acquired and this cosmic force that I have and she kind of wants that force to use it for her own, she has her own intentions with it and she kind of wants to use that. And she nurtures me in a way to make me kind of trust her.”
At least we understand her motivations. Unfortunately, fans are probably going to have to wait until much closer to the movie’s release on February 14, 2019, to figure out who this villain is. To ice the cake, a couple of new photos have also made their way online. One featuring Chastain and Turner’s characters together, and the other providing a look at Andrew Stehlin as Red Lotus and Kota Eberhardt as Selene, which you can check out for yourself below. This news was first reported by IGN.