The new X-Men film has the mutants facing a moral dilemma and an enemy on the inside. Get excited for Dark Phoenix with this inside scoop on the making of the film.
Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy
June 7, 2019
The 12th X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix, finds our mutant heroes enjoying a period of unprecedented approval. Until, that is, they’re struck by a solar flare while on a mission. The blast has a particularly dangerous effect on Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), threatening to turn her into the malevolent Phoenix against her will.
Turner and fellow cast members Tye Sheridan, who plays Cyclops, and Nicholas Hoult (Beast) joined writer-director Simon Kinberg at WonderCon in Anaheim, Calif., to share behind-the-scenes insights.
1) This is the first X-Men movie that goes into outer space, and the first to feature an alien (played by Jessica Chastain).
“One of the wonderful things that a lot of movies have done, and certainly the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done it perhaps the best, is tell intergalactic comic book stories,” says Kinberg. “So we felt like you all were ready, and we were ready to do our version of that.”
2) Turner researched psychological disorders in preparation to play her divided character, Jean Grey/Phoenix.
“We wanted to study schizophrenia and dissociative disorder to really delve into the psyche of the character and ground her in something quite real,” she says.
3) Sheridan’s Cyclops wears a dark visor, so the actor could only see through a narrow opening in front of his eyes.
“They fix your hair — they tuck your hair behind your visor, so you don’t want to pull it off because they’re going to have to come fix your hair again,” says Sheridan. “You don’t want to take it off every time you have to walk up the stairs, so, you know, you trip and get a lot of bruises on your shins.”
4) Kinberg wanted to keep the effects as real(rather than digital) as possible, so they built a street of houses in Montreal, where the film was shot, just to blow them up.
“All of those houses that look very real are very real on the outside but have nothing on the inside,” he says.
5) Turner may look fantastic with her hair billowing in the wind, but she appeared anything but while filming. She was actually wearing a bald cap with tracking points for the CGI so the undulating locks could be added later.
“And one part of my costume is this purple coat with this huge collar…and I’ve got this bald cap on, and I look like Megamind,” she says. “It’s terrible. You don’t feel cool. You don’t feel powerful. You look like an idiot.”
6) Hoult is not as good at “quad running,” or sprinting on all fours, as the stunt guys who make Beast’s gait look fast and graceful.
“And then they’re like, ‘Nick, so you just finish off the quad run into the scene,’” says Hoult. “I’m not built to be able to do that, so it ends up with me kind of crawling and then popping up into frame, and being like, ‘Ah,’ and then carrying on with the scene. I’m sure there’s some very embarrassing cuts of that.”
7) At the end of one scene James McAvoy, who plays Professor X, was shooting while suspended on wires, Chastain arranged for the sound crew to start playing “Macarena” and for the people controlling McAvoy’s movements to make him dance.
“Jessica Chastain is a menace,” says Kinberg.
See Dark Phoenix in IMAX
A superhero film set in space and featuring stunning special effects is one that is made for the IMAX experience. The ultimate way to enjoy this visual spectacle is on the biggest screen possible.