Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.
Dark Phoenix (also known as X-Men: Dark Phoenix) is a 2019 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics X-Men characters, produced by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the twelfth installment in the X-Men film series, a direct sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), and the seventh and final installment in the main X-Men series. The film is written and directed by Simon Kinberg and stars an ensemble cast featuring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, and Jessica Chastain. In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men must face the full power of the Phoenix after a mission in space goes wrong.
After X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) erased the events of X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) from the series’ timeline, Kinberg expressed interest in a new adaptation of Chris Claremont and John Byrne‘s “The Dark Phoenix Saga” in a future film that would be more faithful than his previous attempt with The Last Stand, which was not well received. The new adaptation was confirmed as a follow-up to Apocalypse in 2016. Kinberg signed on to make his directorial debut in June 2017, when the majority of the cast was set to return from Apocalypse. Filming began later that month in Montreal and was completed in October 2017, with the entire third act being reshot in late 2018 following poor test screenings.
Dark Phoenix was theatrically released in the United States on June 7, 2019. Critics described the film as “boring” and criticized the plot, CGI effects, and character development, although the performances (particularly McAvoy and Turner) did receive some praise. Many viewed the film as a disappointing and anticlimactic conclusion to the Fox X-Men series, and it is the worst-reviewed installment of the franchise, according to Rotten Tomatoes.
In 1975, eight-year-old Jean Grey inadvertently uses her telekinesis to cause a car accident that kills her parents. Shortly afterwards, Professor Charles Xavier takes her to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where he mentally blocks the accident from her memories and helps her hone her psychic abilities.
In 1992, nine years after the worldwide devastation caused by En Sabah Nur, the X-Men respond to a distress signal from the space shuttle Endeavour, which is critically damaged by a solar flare-like energy. While the X-Men save all of the astronauts, Jean is stranded and ends up absorbing all of the energy into her body. Jean survives the event, and her psychic powers are greatly amplified as a result. At the same time, the mental block placed by Xavier is destroyed, and she accidentally attacks the mutants celebrating at Xavier’s school after a mental breakdown, passing out afterward. She later travels to her childhood hometown of Red Hook, New York, after discovering that her father is still alive. The X-Men attempt to take Jean home, but she injures Peter Maximoff and accidentally kills Raven Darkhölme and several policemen before flying away.
Jean travels to the mutant refugee island of Genosha to seek assistance from Erik Lehnsherr in controlling her powers, but is turned away by Erik after she engages in combat with U.S. military forces tasked with her arrest. Jean meets Vuk, the leader of a shape-shifting alien race known as the D’Bari, who explains to her that she has been possessed by a force of cosmic power which wiped out the D’Baris’ home planet years ago. The power had consumed all those it came across, until it encountered Jean. Meanwhile, Hank McCoy, who feels betrayed by Xavier’s manipulation of Jean’s memories, allies with Erik and his mutant refugees to bring down Jean in New York City. The X-Men and Erik’s faction battle each other before Erik confronts Jean, only to be overpowered by her new abilities. Xavier is attacked by Jean, until he convinces her to read his memories, allowing her personality to resurface. Feeling remorseful, Jean asks Vuk to take the force from her, though it turns out that doing so would kill her. Xavier and Scott Summers stop Vuk from fully absorbing the force from Jean, before both mutant factions are captured by the U.S. government and placed in a train headed towards a secret containment facility.
The train is attacked by Vuk and her D’Bari forces. When the soldiers are overpowered by the shape-shifters, the mutants are freed from their restraints to combat the threat. Xavier confers with Jean within his mind, allowing Jean’s personality to gain control of the force within her. Vuk once again attempts to drain Jean of the force, but Jean unleashes her full potential and kills Vuk before disappearing into outer space. In the aftermath of the incident, the school is renamed Jean Grey’s School for Gifted Youngsters, with Hank as the new dean, and Charles finally retires after decades in the fight for mutant rights. In Paris, Erik reunites with Xavier to play a game of chess. As they start to play, a flaming phoenix appears in the sky.
Additionally, Kota Eberhardt portrays Selene, while Andrew Stehlin portrays Ariki, a character that was initially reported as Red Lotus. Scott Shepherd and Hannah Anderson portray Jean’s parents John and Elaine, respectively. Ato Essandoh appears as “Jones”, one of Vuk’s fellow D’Bari followers; Brian d’Arcy James appears as the President of the United States; and Lamar Johnson appears briefly as Match. Halston Sage cameos as Dazzler in the character’s first cinematic appearance. Daniel Cudmore, who previously portrayed Colossus in the franchise, was announced to have a role, but did not appear.