X-Men: Dark Phoenix was announced a few months ago, and now it’s time for the pre-production rumors to fly. This one is about the character Rogue, who was first introduced on film in the 2000 movie X-Men: Star Anna Paquin is out, and an unknown actress is in.
Although the talented Paquin will be sorely missed, the film is set in the 1990s, and a younger Rogue is called for. (Paquin herself was 18 when the first X-Men film was released.) According to Omega Underground, Canadian-American Alexa Swinton is in the running for the role. So far, no casting decisions have been officially made.
Dark Phoenix is going to be a retelling of the 1980 storyline, about X-Man Jean Grey. While on a mission in space, merged with a galactic force known as Phoenix. Shortly thereafter, she was psychically manipulated by a villain named Mastermind. A short, shocking chain of events later, and she became Dark Phoenix, Destroyer of Worlds.
The Chris Claremont-penned saga was a brilliant run, perhaps because it was so unexpected. Jean had always been, for better or worse, a typical female character of the time; she wanted to defeat villains, but she also worried over her boyfriend Scott’s feelings. To see her go from a “normal” mutant to the galaxy’s greatest threat was as startling as it was fascinating.
Of course I’m worried.
The Phoenix saga was given screen time before, in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand. Shoehorned into an already messy film, actress Famke Janssen was given nothing to do but stare blankly at the screen—a supporting character in a role where she should have been the star.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix will likely put actress Sophie Turner front and center. And if done right, it could be a fascinating tale of innocence and corruption, of good-turned-evil vs. good. But since the movie universe is so different—Rogue wasn’t an X-Man when this storyline played out—I almost wish the film universe would create its own stories.
And leave my favorite ones alone.