It appears we're going to get a second run at a classic X-Men tale.
According to information posted on Twitter by BoxOffice (via Screenrant) and also confirmed by Deadline, the title of the next movie in the main X-Men series is X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Production on the follow-up to last year's X-Men: Apocalypse is rumored to begin this June, and the film has been given a release date as well: November 2, 2018.
Still not confirmed is a director, although longtime X-Men writer/producer Simon Kinberg may possibly make his debut in that job. But one thing now seems certain: Despite Kinberg himself being evasive about it in recent interviews, the X-Men franchise is apparently going to take another shot at adapting one of the comics' most famous storylines to the screen.
In that story, penned nearly 40 years ago by Chris Claremont, Jean Grey's telepathic powers reach their full potential when she is exposed to a solar flare, initially turning her into a being of pure thought. She returns to physical form as Phoenix, an entity of immense power who is soon corrupted into Dark Phoenix and turns her abilities toward destruction on a vast scale.
By the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, Jean (Sophie Turner) was already struggling with her increasing mental powers, so it makes sense for the series to drive itself toward the Dark Phoenix saga. And with that story botched once before in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand half-baked version of it, Kinberg and company now have a chance to right that wrong.
There's still a lot we don't know about X-Men: Dark Phoenix, including whether the public at large will be interested in seeing it; X-Men: Apocalypse, while doing solid business at the box office, still grossed 27 percent less than its predecessor, 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, and was not a hit with critics either.
Dark Phoenix will face further threats from within its own family: In the flurry of release info that came out over the weekend, two more X-Men films were given arrival dates in the same year: New Mutants will open on April 13, 2018, and Deadpool 2 has at last been set to crap all over the competition on June 1, 2018.
That's a lot of X-movies for one year. Do you think the now-official Dark Phoenix can rise above them all?