After the lukewarm reception to the treatment of Jean Grey in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, Fox has one more chance to do justice by the telepath's dark history in June's Dark Phoenix. Actress Sophie Turner committed fully to the character, studying real-world mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder), so as to best embody Jean's internal struggle after absorbing the Phoenix Force during a mission in outer space.
“I found this amazing video on YouTube, and it was what it feels like to have auditory hallucinations,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “I put it in my ears and I walked around [New York City], and I tried to function doing mundane tasks like shopping and talking to people on the street, and it was f***ing difficult!”
As you've no doubt seen in the trailers thus far, Grey is both frightened and excited by her newfound powers that end up killing an X-Man, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique.
“The story just felt like it was the culmination of all [these X-Men films], and it felt appropriate that we would kill off one of the main characters," director Simon Kinberg told EW. Kinberg has been a producer on the franchise since the very start, but he makes his directorial debut here. He also wrote the screenplay, which he promises strikes a good balance between exciting action and smaller, more human moments.
“You have these big space sequences and trains flying through the air and people firing lightning bolts, but you also have a lot of emotional, four-page dramatic dialogue scenes," he said.
In addition to Turner and Lawrence, returning faces include: James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler).
Jessica Chastain (It: Chapter Two) is new to the X-Men-verse as a mysterious alien antagonist, who seeks to exploit Jean for her own nefarious ends.
Dark Phoenix conflagrates in theaters everywhere on June 7.