Earlier this week it was revealed that Fox were looking to reboot the X-Men franchise. It has now been reported that the classic Dark Phoenix saga could become the central focus of the next movie.
The character of Phoenix–aka Jean Grey–has previously featured in the X-Men movies, played first by Famke Janssen and most recently Sophie Turner, but never as part of the main storyline. According to LRM, producers are looking to make the Dark Phoenix saga a big part of its rebooted films.
X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg has previously spoken about his desire to adapt Dark Phoenix. In January this year, he commented on the fact that although elements of the story had been used in previous films, he was still looking at ways to tackle it. “I think everything that hasn’t been told from First Class and Days of Future Past is up for grabs going forward,” he said, via Cinemablend. “So, it would absolutely be a story that we could tell in a different way.”
Dark Phoenix was an extended storyline that ran in issues of The Uncanny X-Men throughout 1980. It focused on Jean Grey becoming corrupted by the Phoenix Force that provides her with her powers, and turning them against the X-Men.
As THR reported this week, Fox faces a number of issues with the superhero series. As well as Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman’s exit after Logan next year, the contracts for key stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Nicholas Hoult have all ended. As the site notes, renewing them will be a costly exercise for the studio. In addition, this summer’s X-Men: Apocalypse saw a drop in box office receipts compared to its predecessors.
THR’s sources state that the franchise will be “reconfigured,” and that Kinberg is already working on a new script. Bryan Singer, who directed four of the movies in the series, is not expected to return.