Fantastic Four and X-Men: The Last Stand screenwriter Simon Kinberg has been tapped to direct the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix movie for 20th Century Fox. Entertainment Weekly reports that it’s Kinberg’s directorial debut after producing several films in the X-Men universe, including Deadpool and Logan. Joining him are returning core cast members from X-Men: Apocalypse: James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Sophie Turner, and others.
Dark Phoenix is another attempt on Fox’s part to tell the classic “Dark Phoenix” storyline from the comics. Taking place in the ‘90s, Dark Phoenix will reportedly see the X-Men take on Lilandra, the leader of the interstellar Shi’ar Empire played by newcomer Jessica Chastain, and the otherworldly Phoenix Force. The last time the X-Men were up against that Force was in The Last Stand, a movie so poorly received the franchise went out of its way to erase it from the series timeline.
With Kinberg and the cast signed on, it’s now full steam ahead for the movie as the X-Men franchise. The series, despite the middling reviews for X-Men: Apocalypse, is on an upswing after the successes of Deadpool, Logan, and FX’s Legion. And Kinberg, despite being a new director, has worked as an architect on the franchise for years, though the X-movies have seen more duds than successes on his watch. We’ll have to wait and see on this one.