As 2017 winds to a close, we’re starting to get a first look at some very big 2018 movies. That includes X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the upcoming X-Men sequel that proves to be different than anything that came before. Simon Kinberg, who wrote and/or produced X-Men: The Last Stand, Days of Future Past, Apocalypse, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool, is making his directorial debut on Dark Phoenix, taking over directing duties from Bryan Singer who helmed the last two X-Men films.
Kinberg wrote the script himself as well, and while fans have been curious to see just how true to the title this movie will be, it’s been revealed in EW’s new cover story that yes, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is going to space. Indeed the film appears to be adapting the Dark Phoenix comics saga pretty closely, as EW confirms that the X-Men are dispatched to space for a rescue mission, at which point “a solar flare hits the X-Jet and the surge of energy ignites a malevolent, power-hungry new force within Jean (Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner)— the Phoenix.”
In keeping with the trend of Days of Future Past and Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix takes place about 10 years after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, in 1992. At this point in time the X-Men are national heroes, with James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier landing on the cover of Time magazine. His “growing ego” begins to put the crew in danger, and EW teases “a massive twist halfway through that will irrevocably change the course of the franchise.” For his part, McAvoy agrees that it’s a very emotional outing:
“This is probably the most emotional X-Men we’ve done and the most pathos-driven,” McAvoy says. “There’s a lot of sacrifice and a lot of suffering.”