Hugh Jackman's Wolverine had a couple standalone adventures (2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2017's Logan), but up until Dark Phoenix, there had never been an X-Men ensemble movie titled after one of its characters. Kind of a big deal — and something not lost on Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), the actress behind superhero Jean Grey, also known by the eponymous nickname when she breaks bad in the 12th (and final?) installment in the X-Men series.
"When I first kind of got the job, I didn't think that we were going to be able to play out that Dark Phoenix storyline because it had already been done," Turner told Yahoo Entertainment (in reference to a major plot point from 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, when Famke Janssen played the role) in a recent interview where she was joined by costars Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler). "But obviously Days of Future Past [which found Wolverine time-traveling and altering the course of history] reset everything, so I was just so excited to be able to explore that. Because I truly, truly didn't think I was going to be able to, and it was my favorite part of her whole journey."
Turner thus gets her share of both heroic and rogue-ish moments, and in a clip from the film that went viral earlier this week, Jennifer Lawrence (reprising her role as Mystique) delivers a zinger to Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) that speaks to an evolved gender balance Dark Phoenix brings to the series. "The women are always saving the men around here," she tells him. "You might want to think about changing the name to X-Women."
Dark Phoenix is the first film in the franchise in which both the lead X-Man (X-Woman) and lead antagonist (Jessica Chastain's Vuk) are female. In other words, it's probably the closest thing we've gotten to an X-Women movie, which Turner agreed on.
"I think so, this is the closest we've come," she said. "It's a great time that we're in, a time of inclusivity in superhero movies. We have Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, this, I think the first Asian supehero movie is being written [Marvel's Shang-Chi]. So it's really exciting to be a part of this change that's happening."
"I also love that [we] don't acknowledge the fact that they're both women," added Shipp. "The antagonist and protagonist are both women, and you don't acknowledge it, you just allow them to be their characters, not their gender."
Dark Phoenix is now in theaters. Visit Fandango for showtimes and tickets.
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