Jessica Chastain has officially confirmed her role as the lead villain in next year's X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Following one of the studio's greatest X-Men-related film successes to date with this year's critically-acclaimed Logan, 20th Century Fox is currently preparing to release its most ambitious wave of X-Men films ever in 2018. Along with highly anticipated titles like Deadpool 2 and New Mutants, the studio will also be continuing its main X-Men saga with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which will be both written and directed by Fox veteran, Simon Kinberg, following his involvement in almost every single X-Men film of the last few years.
After working at (mostly) resetting the franchise from a string of disasters, beginning with 2005's X-Men: The Last Stand, Kinberg is planning on attempting to bring one of the most beloved X-Men comic book storylines to life on the big screen for the second time. And as the film's title not-so-subtly reveals, Dark Phoenix will pick up where last year's X-Men: Apocalypse left off, and follow Sophie Turner's Jean Grey as she begins her transformation into the Dark Phoenix.
With production currently underway on X-Men: Dark Phoenix in Montreal, actress Jessica Chastain has finally confirmed her involvement in the film in a fun new Instagram post, after previously being rumored for the role several months ago. And while Chastain did not reveal/confirm who she'll be playing in Dark Phoenix, she did confirm that she'll be playing at least one of the movie's villains, by teasing that co-star, James McAvoy (Charles Xavier/Professor X) better be prepared to "cry" when she arrives on set. Check out the confirmation for yourself down below:
A post shared by Jessica Chastain (@jessicachastain) on
Now, it has not yet been officially confirmed or announced who Chastain will be playing in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, but if the early reports of her casting are to be believed, the Oscar-nominated actress will reportedly be playing Princess-Majestrix Lilandra Neramani in the film, who - for those who may not already know - is the empress of the Shi’ar alien empire in the comics. It had previously been reported that Neramani will be on a mission to imprison (and destroy) Grey as the ultra-powerful Dark Phoenix, throughout the course of the film.
Chastain is far from the first great actor/actress to take on a major villain role in an X-Men film, but following the disappointing reactions to Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse, it'll be interesting to see how Kinberg and co. are planning on ensuring Chastain's Neramani lives up to the actress' onscreen talent. But with Chastain's confirmation today, in addition to the general outline of the Dark Phoenix storyline from the comics, and the recent rumors of what Magneto's (Michael Fassbender) story will be in the film - it's clear that X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be attempting to balance a considerable amount of material and characters all at once. And whether or not the film manages to successfully pull that off could very well be the key determining factor of its overall quality.