Remember that time the #XMen franchise took the iconic Dark Phoenix Saga, quite possibly the greatest comic book story of all time, and made the greatest comic book movie of all time? Of course you don't, because what they actually made was X-Men: The Last Stand, a freak mutation of a movie so rotten it basically killed the X-Men movies for five years (a solid four years longer than Jean Grey ever stayed dead!).
Despite not having been confirmed as a thing that exists by Fox yet, this week it was reported that production on Apocalypse sequel X-Men: Supernova will begin in April, shooting almost simultaneously with X-Men spin-off New Mutants in Montreal.
Why Fox are being so secretive is anyone's guess — after being burned by the unfairly negative reaction to Apocalypse on social media, they might prefer to keep this one under wraps — but one thing we do know as of this week is that Supernova has a new working title, and it's this:
'X-Men: Teen Spirit'
Most movies have working titles during the production shoot, and most of them are totally random and not worth dissecting, but X-Men: Teen Spirit is actually super-interesting on multiple levels.
Firstly, it seems to confirm that we'll be taking another jump through time to the '90s, seeing as that title is a clear riff on Nirvana's 1991 single "Smells Like Teen Spirit." That in itself is likely to be controversial purely for the fact that it means Professor X (and Mystique and Magneto, if they return) should be aged 50-something in this movie, while James McAvoy is actually 37 and doesn't even look it. Perhaps we'll see him buried under some a mountain of old-man prosthetics...
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Secondly, Teen Spirit feels like a pretty clear allusion to the fact that Supernova will attempt to wipe X-Men: The Last Stand from the collective memory by remaking the Dark Phoenix Saga — and getting it right. Apocalypse clearly positioned Jean Grey as the new lead of the X-Men series, Xavier aside, and while she won't be a teenager in 1991 (although time seems to have a mind of its own in the X-Men universe...), the spirit of the Phoenix Force seems poised to take hold of Jean Grey.
Whether or not #XMenSupernova will respect Chris Claremont's Dark Phoenix Saga by taking the X-Men into space, I personally hope the movie makes more of us its time period than Apocalypse, which, despite some brilliantly '80s outfits and the odd pop culture reference, didn't really feel cemented to a certain period of history in the way First Class (with the Cuban Missile Crisis) or Days Of Future Past did.
Other details on Supernova remain a mystery right now — there's no director confirmed (although we know it won't be Bryan Singer), no word on whether J-Law and Michael Fassbender are back, and no solid release date. You can probably expect clarity on all of those things before the shoot begins in May.
My guess is that X-Men: Supernova will arrive in theaters May 2018, with New Mutants following in the Fall.
Will Dark Phoenix rise to the heights of her legendary comic book counterpart in X-Men: Supernova?