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Jessica Chastain in talks to play the villain in X-Men: Dark Phoenix

(Photo: Getty Images/FilmMagic, Antonio De Moraes Barro Filho) / (Image: Marvel Comics)
(Photo: Getty Images/FilmMagic, Antonio De Moraes Barro Filho) / (Image: Marvel Comics)

Back in the day, superhero movies were such a hard sell that studios felt compelled to make them relatively “grounded,” usually by ignoring weirder aspects of a character’s origin or costume. But they’re are so common now that Fox is actually preparing to introduce the Shi’ar in the next X-Men movie. For those who don’t read comics, the Shi’ar are an alien race with crazy feathers on their heads who occasionally come into conflict with the X-Men, most famously in the “Dark Phoenix Saga” that the next X-Men movie is based on. Luckily, Fox is planning to ease people into the revelation that there are aliens in the X-Men universe by casting a big-name star as their leader.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jessica Chastain is currently in talks to play Shi’ar empress Lilandra in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, with the story specifically noting that she’ll be “the villain” in the movie. (Of course, those who are familiar with the aforementioned comic book storyline know that Lilandra isn’t exactly the main villain here.) THR also points out that Lilandra is usually accompanied by a team of super-powered protectors called the Imperial Guard, but at this point it’s unclear if they’ll show up in the movie as well.

If this is still all a bit too crazy for any X-Men fans, though, Deadline is reporting that Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Alexadra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Michael Fassbender will all be reprising their roles from previous X-Men movies along with Turner, which means that you’ll at least be able to recognize a handful of characters as they go on this crazy space adventure. Dark Phoenix will be directed and written by Simon Kinberg, and it will be in theaters next year.

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