X-Men: Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg revealed new details about Jessica Chastain’s character in the upcoming film.
In a wide-ranging interview with Entertainment Weekly, where Kinberg spoiled the death of a major X-Men character, and revealed the inclusion of one of the Hellfire Club’s leaders, Kinberg discussed Jessica Chastain’s character.
“Her character is an alien. She comes from another planet. When you see the entity that enters Jean in space is not a solar flare — it’s a cosmic force. For those that know the comic, they know what the force is. Chastain’s character is drawn and has been seeking out that cosmic force, and it leads her to Earth and to Jean. It’s a force she either wants to control or destroy.”
Kinberg would confirm the cosmic force is the Phoenix Force from the comics before elaborating on just how powerful Chastain’s character is.
“She definitely is mentally as strong as Jean. Jean cannot read her mind. Like you see in the trailer, she can manipulate others minds so that they see things that she wants them to see. But she has a whole suite of powers that we explore in the movie; some of them are mental and some of them are physical. There’s a whole sequence where she basically takes apart the X-Men.”
Kinberg had previously described Chastain’s character:
“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. 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.”
Initial reports about Chastain’s character indicated she would be playing Princess-Majestrix Lilandra Neremani, a member of the royal family of the Shi’ar Empire. Lilandra plays a key role in the Dark Phoenix Sage in the comics. She contacts and recruits the X-Men to help defeat D’Ken, her insane brother, with the power of the Phoenix hiding within the X-Men Jean Grey. She even takes Charles Xavier as her consort.
However, things wouldn’t end happily as Jean Grey becomes unstable with the power of the Phoenix flooding through. In fact, Jean wipes out an entire world allied with the Shi’ar. Lilandra demands the Phoenix be wiped out.
Other rumors indicated that Chastain might be playing Skrull Empress Veranke. But maybe, the most interesting theory is that she is playing a female version of Mastermind. Mastermind aka Jason Wyngarde manipulates Jean Grey with his illusion powers. He makes her believe she is reliving the life of her ancestor. His illusions eventually turn Jean Grey against the X-Men and unleash the Dark Phoenix. Kinberg previously debunked the Mastermind theory saying, “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.” He would also tease, “For me, as you’ll see, that Jessica’s character has elements of a few different characters from the comics.”
Another theory posited by my colleague Donald Edmonds indicates Chastain is actually a manifestation of the Phoenix Force.
Who do you think Chastain is playing? Do you think she could be the manifestation of the Phoenix Force?