Bad news X-Men fans, Rose Byrne won't be appearing as Moira MacTaggert in the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Simon Kinberg is helming the fourth movie in the "rebooted" X-Men series, and will once again bring back the likes of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence in leading roles. However, while Byrne's Dr. MacTaggert played a major part in First Class and Apocalypse, her romantic relationship with Charles Xavier won't be going any further for now.
Appearing at the press junket for her upcoming film, Peter Rabbit, Byrne revealed to CinemaBlend that there is no room for Moira in the next chapter:
"Unfortunately, Moira is not showing up. I wish she was. I had such fun on X-Men: Apocalypse. I love that cast. It is a really fun, what do you call it? Superhero film... ensemble exactly. I can't wait to see what [Jessica Chastain] does, cause I'm such a fan."
Given that Dark Phoenix promises to be a female-first movie thanks to the likes of Jean Grey, Mystique, and Jessica Chastain's Smith, you would imagine that MacTaggert would fit in perfectly with the rest of the ensemble.
Byrne first played a sexed-up version of the comic book character Moira MacTaggert in Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class. However, having her memory wiped by Charles Xavier, MacTaggert sat out Days of Future Past, until she returned as an integral part of the 2016's Apocalypse. The events of Apocalypse revealed that Moira has a son, while the climax also saw her previous memories return. With some versions of the comics seeing MacTaggert's son being the offspring of her and Charles Xavier, it would've been easy to continue her storyline. So, with Moira absent from Dark Phoenix, will McAvoy's Professor X find himself a new love interest?
Sadly, with the fate of the X-Men now shifting into the hands of Disney, this could be the end of the line for Byrne's time as MacTaggert. The future of the entire franchise is currently up in the air, and with Xavier's gifted youngsters now finding themselves alongside the likes of Iron Man and Captain America, a background character like MacTaggert may not be the MCU's top priority. Disney may be looking at ways to fuse with Fox's established X-Men, but there will obviously be casualties along the way.
Even if Moira MacTaggert is out for the count, the character had a good run. Away from Olivia Williams' minute cameo in X-Men: The Last Stand, Rose Byrne has established herself as a new imagining of the character that is a million miles away from her bookish, Scottish, comic character. Also, if Moira is to bow out now, the storyline of her existing family seems like the perfect exit for Byrne. While it may be a disappointment to die-hard X-Men fans, we're sure that X-Men: Dark Phoenix will have plenty of other female characters to fill our screens.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
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- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020