The X-Men universe is looking to expand its horizons next year with three films, and it appears X-Men: Dark Phoenix will indeed push the franchise into space with the arrival of the Shi'ar Empire. For a franchise that has so far dealt with time-travel, multiple timelines, and introduced plenty of continuity issues, it is surprising that it will take this universe seven mainline films to go beyond the confines of Earth. Ever since it began to look like the next X-Men film would retell the Dark Phoenix Saga, the probability of mutants venturing into space has only continued to look more likely.
The speculation began back when the film was thought to be subtitled Supernova and we explored how that title could push the X-Men franchise into space. The Supernova working title only further made us think this would be the case, but it turns out Dark Phoenix is actually the title and not the working one. One of the big pieces to the Phoenix Saga in the comics is the Shi'ar Empire, and some new audition tapes could point to their inclusion in the movie.
Omega Underground has uncovered multiple audition tapes for upcoming X-Men films, but the ones that specifically caught their attention was from Halt and Catch Fire star Toby Huss. His tapes were labeled as Teen Spirit - the actual working title for Dark Phoenix - where he auditioned for the role of Hoover. While the name alone does not allude to any Shi'ar connections, the cadence of his voice brought Omega Underground to the conclusion that it could be alien in nature. And there's no more important alien presence for this story than the Shi'ar.
If this conclusion is correct and the Shi'ar race is included in Dark Phoenix, it finally show a willingness from Fox to incorporate some of the crazier aspects from the source material. In the comic tale, the Shi'ar become involved with Jean Grey's growing powers after she causes a supernova in space and they try to stop her (spoiler: they can't). This leads the Shi'ar to being at odds with Xavier and the rest of the X-Men as they deem Jean to be a threat to powerful to let be and want to kill her, but Xavier is very much against that idea. These events and those that follow could all be included in Dark Phoenix if the Shi'ar are involved and give fans a chance to see them on the big screen, after all these years.
Pushing the X-Men films into space is a no-brainer at this point and follows along with what producer Hutch Parker told us not too long ago. Going cosmic with the X-Men is much more than a possibility at this point and appears to be actually happening. The change of scenery could allow for them to not retread familiar story beats and character arcs that fans have seen before on the big screen, all while making a truly unique entry into the X-Men mythos.
Source: Omega Underground
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019