It has been a very long road for the X-Men franchise, and it will all come to a head with Dark Phoenix with one of their own turning on them. The latest entry into the X-Men franchise, the originator of modern comic book movies, is set to be the send off for the franchise that has given us some amazing moments over the last two decades.

Exploring the Dark Phoenix storyline, it'll pick up on the crumbs left by X-Men: Apocalypse which saw Jean Grey grow into her dark powers. The movie will see her fully embrace this darkness, becoming more powerful than any other mutant, including Professor Xavier and Magneto. With the stage being set for Dark Phoenix turning on the X-Men, they are in for their biggest challenge ever.

Here's everything you need to know about Dark Phoenix.

The latest news

Dark Phoenix will have the lowest opening weekend the for X-Men franchise

After multiple delays, Dark Phoenix is finally arriving in theaters next month but it won't quite be the arrival the movie was expecting. According to early tracking, the latest X-Men movie is set to take in $50 million over its opening weekend, which would be the lowest grossing opening for an X-Men movie to date. That would be even lower than what the first X-Men movie took in and that movie came out 19 years ago.

Much of that has to do with the disappointment of the last X-Men movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, which earned middling reviews. Franchise fatigue may also be playing a role as the main X-Men franchise has now span nearly 20 years.

We still don't have a figure on how much Dark Phoenix will end up grossing over its lifetime. Fox is probably crossing its fingers the expensive movie, which cost $200 million to make, can turn a profit, though things aren't looking very good at the moment.

All the big details

Dark Phoenix Release Date

Dark Phoenix is set to arrive in theaters June 7, 2019. It comes thee years after the releases of its predecessor, X-Men: Apocalypse which came out back in May 2016.

The project faced multiple delays during post-production. It was originally slated to come out in March 2018, but a delay slotted it down to February 2019. After another round of delays, the June 7 release date was set by Fox.

Dark Phoenix Plot

Dark Phoenix is going to pick up with the prequel X-Men storyline that first started with X-Men: First Class and then continued by its sequels, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse.

The movie will focus on the comic book storyline of Dark Phoenix. Last we saw of Jean Grey, she stumbled upon her powerful hidden abilities in X-Men: Apocalypse. This planted the seed that will be explored in Dark Phoenix. Coincidentally, this also gives Fox a second shot at the Phoenix storyline it botched in X-Men: The Last Stand.

Set in 1992, a decade after the battle with Apocalypse, the X-Men heroes are now household names, starkly different from the persecution they encountered in earlier X-Men movies. On a mission in space, they are hit by a solar flare that inadvertently unlocks Jean Grey's powerful Phoenix abilities.

As Jean Grey loses control of her powers, a mysterious character, portrayed by Jessica Chastain, begins to manipulate her and ends up turning her on the X-Men. In an interview with Empire Magazine, director Simon Kinberg describes Chastain's character as "the devil on Jean's shoulder, so to speak."

With Jean exploring her darker side, this leads her to remember repressed memories of her past. Professor Xavier is responsible for hiding her memories, fearing Jean could become too powerful and uncontrollable. This serves as another dividing factor between Jean and the X-Men, all the while fracturing the X-Men in process, setting up an ultimate clash that could lead to the death of a prominent character as the trailers have suggested.

Dark Phoenix Trailer

There have been multiple Dark Phoenix trailers, but the final trailer was released in early April as the release date for the movie nears. In the trailer we learn more about the space mission to save stranded astronauts that jumpstarts Jean's transformation into Phoenix.

Dark Phoenix Cast

The entire main cast is returning for Dark Phoenix including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. The three have been together as main X-Men class since First Class, however, they are joined by a cast that has been added to over the last three movies, including Sophie Turner as Jean Grey.

New to the cast will be Jessica Chastain portraying the unnamed new character who will infiltrate Jean's mind. The platinum-blonde character is an alien character who pushes Jean to fully embrace her dark side and ultimately turn on the X-Men.

Here's the cast in its entirety:

  • James McAvoy as Professor Xavier
  • Michael Fassbender as Magneto
  • Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique
  • Sophie Turner as Jean Grey/Phoenix
  • Jessica Chastain as unnamed character
  • Nicholas Hoult as Beast
  • Ty Sheridan as Cyclops
  • Evan Peters as Quicksilver
  • Alexandra Shipp as Storm
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler

When will the X-Men join the MCU?

As we've stated, with Disney buying out Fox Studios, it paves the way for the X-Men to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, although very enticing, this will not happen for some time, but it's not because Marvel boss Kevin Feige doesn't want to.

The Disney-Fox deal was announced in 2018, but barely went into effect earlier this year, which means Marvel did not have access to the characters until recently. With 2019 not an option in the form of an unexpected X-Men MCU introduction in Avengers: Endgame like many fans hoped for, that puts their integration well off into the future.

Marvel loves plotting and planning its overarching universe narrative to endless pains, and although it has not revealed which Marvel movies are coming post-2019—it has been trying very hard to avoid spoiling Endgame—make no mistake, multiple projects in the works.

So far, we heard of Black Widow, The Eternals, Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man 3, among others. There could even be an original member of the Avengers like Iron Man or Thor getting a fourth movie. That clogs up Marvel's release calendar for at least two if not three years. That means we likely won't get an X-Men MCU movie until 2022, possibly even longer.

For as disappointing as the news may be, don't lose hope. An MCU X-Men movie is coming. It's just a matter of waiting for it.

The last Fox X-Men Movie

As for the present, Dark Phoenix will mark a conclusion to the long and convoluted X-Men franchise Fox began in 2000. It took many odd turns and time-traveling reboots, and it comes to an end.

Disney hasn't specified details about rebooting the franchise, but that's expected to be the case. The possible three-year gap will give Disney a chance to start fresh from the current storyline Fox crafted. This means new actors and new stories that will easily integrate into the established MCU.

This means there will be a new Wolverine, Professor X and Magneto. It also means characters like Deadpool and Fantastic Four will join the MCU. That should be even more fun.

What comes after Avengers: Endgame