Looking back on it, X-Men: Apocalypse is probably one of the most disappointing films in recent memory. After two films that brought the X-Men franchise back from the dead (Matthew Vaughn's First Class and Bryan Singer's Days of Future Past), the 2016 film ended up being a bizarre hodgepodge of laughably over-the-top nonsense and territory that had been explored far too many times in previous films. It's probably the worst of the X-Men films, and boy, there have been some clunkers in this series. The mutants at Fox have seemingly found their niche with solo genre movies, as films like Deadpool and Logan have garnered critical acclaim and done very well at the box office. With the Merc with a Mouth returning in 2018 and Josh Boone jumping aboard to tackle New Mutants as a horror thriller, you would think that Fox would stick to this formula. Instead, they're continuing the story established by Apocalypse with next year's Dark Phoenix, bringing back many of the same actors for another go-around. And with the November 2, 2018 release date looming, things are kicking into high gear for the latest in the main X-Men saga.
According to The Hollywood Reporter and many other sources, Jessica Chastain is in talks to play the villain in next year's X-Men: Dark Phoenix. This comes shortly after it was confirmed that Simon Kinberg, a prominent producer and writer involved with the superhero films at Fox, will direct Dark Phoenix, with James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, and Kodi Smit-McPhee all set to reprise their roles. If everything goes as planned, Chastain will play Lilandra, an alien queen who captures the mutant known as Dark Phoenix (Turner) and begins to fight a war with the X-Men. So yeah, Logan this is not. Look, there are a lot of things that I like about what Fox is doing with their superhero films. The solo stuff has been tremendous (Logan is still my #1 film of the year), and I love that they continue to mess with genres and hard R content. That being said, I'm having trouble getting excited for more films with this cast and these characters. It's beginning to feel more and more like Days of Future Past was the peak, and I'm not sure there are many interesting directions left for these characters. Throwing someone like Chastain in there isn't really gonna help matters, considering how poorly Singer and friends utilized Oscar Isaac in the last film. Until I see something tangible to get me excited, I'm gonna remain skeptical about Dark Phoenix.
The film is scheduled to debut on November 2, 2018.