You could be forgiven for forgetting this, given the largely unchanging appearances of the actors involved, but the cycle of ‘X-Men’ films that kicked off with ‘X-Men: First Class’ back in 2011 spans two decades of narrative time, from the sixties to the eighties. When ‘Dark Phoenix’, the fourth film in that cycle, arrives next year the story will cover some thirty years of the X-Men’s lives. But of course, a person’s looks aren’t the only thing that changes over that amount of time.
Of the current team of cinematic X-Men, the one who has made perhaps the biggest splash was Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters. Debuting with a scene-stealing slow-motion set piece in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ (which would be reprised on a grander scale in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse‘), Salem Center’s resident speedster quickly became a fan favorite. Speaking to Screen Rant on a recent press junket, Peters hinted at how Quicksilver has grown and changed in the decade separating ‘Apocalypse’ and ‘Dark Phoenix’:
“He’s definitely a little older and more mature, a little more subdued, sort of trying to make a, not a name, but trying to do right by the X-Men and be a good guy and use his powers for good, so I think he’s on that path at the moment.”
Peters’ comments suggest a shift in Quicksilver’s characterization that could be indicative not only of the character’s increasing maturity but also of the film’s tone. ‘Dark Phoenix’, which represents the film franchise’s second attempt at adapting the legendary comic book storyline by Chris Claremont and John Byrne after the frankly disastrous ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’, has been suggested by numerous cast and crew members to be a “grounded” and “personal” story.
Directed by longtime series producer Simon Kinberg, ‘Dark Phoenix’ stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain. ‘Dark Phoenix’ is due to arrive in theaters on February 14, 2019.