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

Jessica Chastain Dark Phoenix
James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

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.

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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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  1. Tony D'Alessandro says:

    Do you know Sophie Turner is returning?? Last I check Lawrence, Fassbender, and McAvoy are all unconfirmed and have made several statements about maybe not returning. Sounds more like Chastain’s being considered for a new Jean Grey. There’s no news yeah? Everyones just assuming it’s still Sophie cuz it was Sophie last time. Maybe They’re replacing Famke Janssen.

  2. Tender Puppy! says:

    She’s one of the best actresses working today. The right is always complaining that the left shouldn’t bitch when an actor or actress (i.e. Patricia Heaton, Denis Leary) expresses some conservative views. Their talent and work is what should matter and does. The same shit applies when the right complains about actors/actresses espousing their left-wing views. Regardless of what opinions Chastain has, as an actress, she assumes whatever character she plays and she’s fantastic at it. (Although I haven’t seen everything, including The Zookeeper’s Wife and regrettably still need to see Zero Dark Thirty.) Point is, she’s a fine actress, and y’all need to get over what she does outside the movie and focus on her contribution to the movie itself.

  3. Greg Taylor says:

    don’t like her, get someone else

  4. Last time I checked, Lilandra wasn’t a “villain,” but maybe you know something about the new script that I don’t. The main villain in the Dark Phoenix saga is the Dark Phoenix.

  5. Rex says:

    Imagine how much COOLER this movie would be if the X-Men were part of Disney’s MCU. Putting the X-Men into space — assuming that’s what they’re doing here — would’ve been an excellent way to (thematically,mat least) tie them to the likes of the Guardians and Thor (third movie) and, presumably, the Avengers long term. Such a shame they’ll ALWAYS be making X-Men movies in a vacuum, regardless of how great they often are.

  6. Hey Variety, “The Zookeeper’s Wife”? THAT’S the movie referenced here? She was an Oscar nominee for Zero Dark Thirty and The Help.

    • truth is stranger than fiction says:

      Zookeeper’s Wife was quietly beautiful and she was lovely in it. Obviously they’re referring to what she’s done LATELY.

  7. Haz says:

    Please anyone but Chastain! She will probably try to have the name changed to X-People or some crap. Hopefully negotiations fizzle out or else this will be the first X-Men film I skip watching in theatres.

  8. Stacie says:

    Do you know if Evan Peter will be returning?

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