Magneto’s (Michael Fassbender) storyline in next year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix may have just been revealed. The film is picking up at a very strange place in the X-Men franchise as well, when two of the universes standalone spinoff films (Logan, Deadpool) have been universally more well-received than the last installment in the main saga was, last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse. That film not only reintroduced several major characters into the X-Men cinematic universe – including Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Hardy), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), and more – but also left the future of many characters in a more uncertain state than ever.
Right at the top of that list too, was Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, who helped to defeat Oscar Isaac’s titular villain in the final battle of X-Men: Apocalypse and was effectively redeemed in the eyes of his former best friend, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy). But from there, it wasn’t clear where Magneto would go from there, or what path he would take moving forwards. However, Magneto’s involvement in the X-Men: Dark Phoenix storyline may have finally been revealed.
Nerdist claims to have gotten some story details from an anonymous source close to the Dark Phoenix production today, which point towards a dark direction for Fassbender’s Erik Lehnsherr. As usual, make sure to take this all with a grain of salt, but according to the report, Magneto will be taking on the role of a cult-like leader when Dark Phoenix begins, with Fassbender specifically asking for costumes that evoke that feeling. And apparently, this may also mean the introduction of an iconic mutant faction from the comics known as the Acolytes. With Dark Phoenix taking its characters into space also, Nerdist speculates that the film could also feature the home base of the Acolytes, a space station built by Magneto known as Avalon.
In addition, the report states that the film will be introducing Genosha, a fictional island located the coast of Africa in the comics. Originally a place where mutants were enslaved, Magneto went on to seize control of the island in the 1990s, turning it into a new homeland for Mutants before it was later destroyed out by Sentinels.
Now, for those who don’t know, the Acolytes are a faction of mutants from the comic books who basically viewed Magneto less like a political leader – how the members of the Brotherhood saw him – but more in a religious light. To the Acolytes, Magneto was like a mutant messiah who could lead them into salvation.
While that might feel like a bit of a drastic direction for Magneto to take in Dark Phoenix, it actually makes sense when considering the events of Apocalypse, which saw him being inducted for a short time into a religious cult of another powerful mutant. So even though he did end up revolting against that ideology himself, it’s entirely plausible that Erik could have walked away from that experience with a new plan forming in his mind, or with a new band of mutant followers ready and willing to do whatever he says. And if Dark Phoenix does indeed, end up taking Magneto down this path, then it may be taking on even more comic book material than fans had originally thought.
KEY RELEASE DATES
New Mutants release date: Apr 13, 2018
Deadpool 2 release date: Jun 1, 2018
X-Men: Dark Phoenix release date: Nov 2, 2018