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Jessica Chastain in Talks to Play Villain in Next X-Men Movie

Jessica Chastain is in talks to star as the villain in Fox’s X-Men movie “Dark Phoenix” with Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Sophie Turner, and Nicholas Hoult all returning to the franchise.

Fox also announced Wednesday that Simon Kinberg is making his directorial debut on the tentpole from his own adaptation. He’s best known for writing and producing films in the franchise, including “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

“Dark Phoenix” will shoot in Montreal. Kinberg is also producing along with Hutch Parker and Lauren Shuler Donner.

Fox announced in April that it was releasing a trio of Marvel movies in 2018 — “Deadpool 2” on June 1, 2018; X-Men spinoff “The New Mutants,” which opens April 13, 2018; and “Dark Phoenix” for Nov. 2, 2018.

“Dark Phoenix” centers on the telepathic Jean Grey, played by Turner, and the much-feared Phoenix force. The story originated in the 1976-77 comic book series “Uncanny X-Men” when Grey is exposed to deadly radiation after returning from a mission in space. Chastain would play Lilandra, who heads an alien empire called the Shi’ar.

Chastain was most recently seen in the World War II drama “The Zookeeper’s Wife” and the political drama “Miss Sloane.” She has completed filming on Aaron Sorkin’s drama “Molly’s Game” as the operator of a high-stakes poker game.

She is repped by CAA, Mosaic, and Hansen Jacobson. News about Chastain was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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