Whether you've been a longtime fan of the X-Men franchise or not, you probably have a vague idea of the premise. It's got all the tropes of a popular superhero film series: there are humans and there are 'mutants', those with special powers don't always use them for the greater good and the world comes close to ending on a few occasions. But some of the most noticeable differences about the latest instalment, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, is that it's an opportunity for fans to take a deep dive into young Jean Grey's personal journey. That's right. We're finally exploring a female character who's background has been long overlooked in the wider context of these comic book adaptations – and the stakes were incredibly high.
As it happens, Dark Phoenix plays out as more of a drama than your typical superhero movie. Stars Jessica Chastain and Sophie Turner, who reprises her role as Jean in the film, both agree that Dark Phoenix is one of the more "character-driven" films in the franchise. It's tense, it's emotional and the plot is more grounded in the people behind those blue and yellow jumpsuits. "I think that's the way superhero movies are going to go," Turner tells Refinery29.
On a mission into space, Jean is hit with a cosmic force that makes her not only one of the most powerful X-Men, but one of the most powerful beings in the world. Needless to say, it comes with its very dramatic difficulties and soon forces Jean (and the rest of the team) to face some past trauma that was buried long ago. But did Turner expect to be given this big, complex story arch for her character after we last saw her in prequel X-Men: Apocalypse?
"I didn't because they'd already done the Dark Phoenix storyline as a subplot in The Last Stand, with the wonderful Famke Janssen, so truly, it just seemed it wasn't going to happen for me. I loved that part of her storyline so much, but no, I never really had any idea. I thought I was going to be a background character," she laughs.
Clearly far from being in the background, Dark Phoenix sees Jean Grey get her day and Turner wasn't the only one who thought this film felt pretty special. We also met Alexandra Shipp (who plays young Storm), Evan Peters (who plays Quicksilver) and Tye Sheridan (who plays the younger Cyclops). We asked them what makes this movie stand out against the rest of the franchise, what their most memorable scenes were and how they'd describe Dark Phoenix to someone who doesn't really know what the X-Men series is all about. Watch the full video below to find out what they said.
Dark Phoenix is in cinemas from Wednesday 5th June