‘Dark Phoenix’: Finally a Female Lead in an X-Men Movie

After her stint as Sansa Stark in ‘Game of Thrones’, Sophie Turner ups the stakes in the most radical and female-led movie ever made in the X-Men universe in 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” that will open in Philippine cinemas on June 5.

sophie turner in X MEN DARK PHOENIX

In “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”, the team is sent to a life-threatening mission in outer space where Jean Grey (Turner) is nearly killed when she absorbs a cosmic entity that leaves her with powers far beyond anything she or any other mutant has ever possessed.

Once she returns home to Earth, she struggles with these near-godlike abilities, but the force inside her is too overwhelming to contain. Spiraling out of control, Jean hurts the ones she loves most. Her actions tear the X-Men apart, and the heroes find themselves deeply compromised at a time when they must face their most dangerous enemy yet—one of their own.

sophie turner jessica chastain in X MEN DARK PHOENIX

At its core, ‘Dark Phoenix’ is a tale of a woman struggling with her personal demons, and only the love of her family—the X-Men—can save her soul, and the world. “This movie’s very different from the previous X-Men movies,” Simon Kinberg says of his directorial debut. “The source material is different from the other X-Men comics that we’ve drawn upon in the past. It’s more psychologically complex and emotionally volatile. The emotions it gets into are rawer than a lot of the other X-Men comics.”

It was also finally time for an X-Men movie to have a female lead. The women in the X-Men films—played by powerhouse actresses from Famke Janssen to Halle Berry—were complicated, dynamic, and always had agency, but their stories never quite came to the fore. After nearly 20 years, “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” is squarely focused on the journey of Jean Grey and the women who surround her—including Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven and Jessica Chastain’s Smith, a villainous new presence who encourages Jean to abandon her humanity and give in to her darkest urges.

jessica chastain sophie turner in X MEN DARK PHOENIX

“The thing about the Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix story is that she’s not a villain, but she’s not a superhero who’s going to save the world and everything’s fine,” Sophie says. “She’s one of the few characters that’s very tormented and broken. It’s not too fantastical for people to comprehend. There’s no black or white with her, it’s a very gray area. It’s a struggle that’s very true to a lot of people and that’s why people love her.”

“X-Men: Dark Phoenix” also stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, and Alexandra Shipp.

From 20th Century Fox, “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” opens on June 5 in Philippine cinemas nationwide. It will also be available in IMAX screens.