A Death in The Family, Demon In A Bottle, Civil War, Crisis on Infinite Earths…if you’re a comic book fan, those titles immediately bring up memories, images, and a strong connection to the characters involved. For the X-Men, the iconic Dark Phoenix Saga is arguably the series’ defining story arc , ranging from The X-Men issues 129-138. The second half of Jean Grey’s journey through comic book immortality can be relieved throughout many different forms of media, but not without a sour taste. In recent weeks, rumors have begun to spike in regards to Fox’s interest in revisiting the arc within the X-Men movie franchise. Reportedly, the studio would like get things right, so it seems.
According to insiders, Fox reps are very high on Game of Thrones actor Sophie Turner’s performance in the upcoming mutant flick. So much so, that there’s buzz going around about a possible trilogy planned for the upcoming X movies featuring Turner’s Jean Grey as the focal point. Even though this story line idea has been elaborated upon in small doses in X2: X-Men United, and entirely too much in the wrong direction for X-Men: The Last Stand, casual fans and comic book enthusiasts alike would agree that calling it underwhelming would be the tip of the iceberg. This saga deserves better than what it has currently gotten on the big screen, and with The Avengers changing titles towards the Infinity War, its possible that X-Men might go down the same path with The Dark Phoenix Saga.
As we all know by now, X-Men: Apocalypse will feature the last appearance (outside of an upcoming solo film) of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Now, while some executives couldn’t have predicted the drawing power of Jackman sixteen-years ago, they definitely realize how bankable the character and actor are now. The problem is that once Jackman’s gone, the X-Men franchise will still try to continue on but without its biggest star. The beloved additions of James McEvoy and Michael Fassbender filled the void of Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen respectively in the past three films, but it looks like there needs to be another sure fire ace in the hole. Jennifer Lawrence could have been that character, but the truth is that there are very few Mystique driven stories readily available.
This leaves a massive void to fill with the new and upcoming mutants in the X-Men movie franchise. Sophie Turner has a golden opportunity to revel in all of the rich character driven master work of Chris Claremont’s Dark Phoenix saga, possibly making her the next “it” girl actress in a major motion picture series. For lack of better comparisons, just look at the Twilight, Divergent, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and so-on book series that have dominated the box office when super heroes aren’t. The perfect storm could possibly merge the two, and give viewers a real hard hitting narrative with the supernatural flavor that people enjoy so much these days.
If made a trilogy, the X-Men franchise could get away with subtle hints within the first film, taking place along the course of a much different main story in order to test the audiences, much like X2 did. A lot of chess pieces are already in place as it is, with the Hellfire Club being introduced in First Class, proving a large chunk of material to build upon once Jean obtains the Phoenix Force. This can also shoehorn into a possible Avengers vs X-Men movie event that fans have been asking for for years, even bringing into account the Phoenix Five at some point.
These are just suggestions however, but they stir the drink on possibilities with this story line. In my opinion, the X-Men franchise has plateaued with director Bryan Singer at the helm, and I much rather enjoyed the stylized and fresh approach to X-Men: First Class. I’d like to see a new director take the reins after X-Men: Apocalypse and have the tone shift to something new. After all, it’s been over a decade without much change in the franchise, outside of First Class’ reboot cues and a few new fresh faces. Tell us what you think in the comments below, and don’t forget to see the story as it happens, starting with X-Men: Apocalypse in theaters May 27th!