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Simon Kinberg on Jessica Chastain's mysterious Dark Phoenix villain

We finally got our first big look at DARK PHOENIX last night with the release of the film's first trailer, which offered a tantalizing peek at Jessica Chastain's mysterious villain, who seems to have quite the interest in Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) and her growing powers. It was originally reported that Chastain was set to play Lilandra, empress of the Shi'ar Empire, but DARK PHOENIX writer/director Simon Kinberg wasn't about to confirm that, only telling IGN in a recent interview that she is indeed an extraterrestrial.

"She is from, let’s say, not our planet, her character. I’ll keep it relatively mysterious but it is a cosmic story in a way that is extraterrestrial, which is something we’ve never done in the X-Men movies before but is obviously something that is integral to the Dark Phoenix story so I felt we couldn’t’ do what we did on X3 and ignore that," Kinberg said. "We had to actually embrace it. So there’s a fair amount that takes place in space, and the inciting incident that starts to turn Jean, let’s say, dark and fill her with this power that she can’t control happens in space. And then there are forces from space that come to Earth because of that." The director also addressed a rumour that Jessica Chastain's character is really a version of Mastermind, an evil mutant who played an an important role in the Dark Phoenix comic.

I will say that Jessica’s character is not Mastermind but there are elements of the way Mastermind manipulates Jean that Jessica’s character does employ. For me, as you’ll see, that Jessica’s character has elements of a few different characters from the comics.

Sophie Turner added that Jean Grey and Jessica Chastain's as-yet-unnamed villain will have quite an interesting relationship. "I don’t want to spill too much about it but basically Jessica’s character is very interested in this power that I’ve kind of acquired and this cosmic force that I have and she kind of wants that force to use it for her own," Turner said. "She has her own intentions with it and she kind of wants to use that. And she nurtures me in a way to make me kind of trust her."

 

The official synopsis for DARK PHOENIX:

In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite - not only to save Jean's soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.

DARK PHOENIX will hit theaters on February 14, 2019.

Source: IGN

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