Kota Eberhardt (The Persian Connection) and Scott Shepherd (The Young Pope, Bridge of Spies) have reportedly joined the cast of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which began principal photography in late-June. That Hashtag Show is reporting that Shepherd has been cast as Dr. John Grey, father of X-Man Jean Grey. Their report also states that Eberhardt will play a character codenamed Luna, described as “beautiful,” “intense,” “exudes a sense of power,” “slightly unhinged,” and “a commanding presence.” The true identity of her character is being kept tightly under wraps, but expect details to leak eventually.
They join returning actors James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and franchise newcomer Jessica Chastain. Longtime writer/producer Simon Kinberg will be making his directorial debut on this film after having written and/or produced every film in the franchise since X-Men: The Last Stand, including the upcoming New Mutants and Deadpool 2. This film will be the second adaptation of Chris Claremont’s The Dark Phoenix Saga, set in the early ‘90s and center on Jean Grey (Turner) struggling to control a powerful cosmic entity called the Phoenix Force that she unleashed nearly a decade before to defeat the world’s first mutant, En Sabah Nur. As a result of the danger posed to the galaxy if she were to lose control of it, the Shi’ar Empire, led by Empress Lilandra (Chastain) arrives on Earth to capture and destroy the Phoenix.
Additionally, the secondary storyline will reportedly focus on Magneto (Fassbender) becoming the cult-like leader of a new mutant faction known as the Acolytes, based on the iconic group from the comics who worshiped him as the “mutant messiah.” Evan Jonigkeit and Gregg Lowe are said to be in negotiations with the studio to reprise their roles as Toad and Ink, presumably as Acolytes. The characters were last seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past, where they were members of a mutant GI unit in Saigon which also included Alex Summers/Havok (Lucas Till) and under the command of Weapon X architect, Major William Stryker (Josh Helman). The unit was set to be the next guinea pigs for Trask Industries’ Sentinel program before Mystique (Lawrence) interviened and rescued them.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is scheduled to premiere in theaters November 2, 2018