Jessica Chastain In Talks To Play Lilandra In X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX

Simon Kinberg's first X-MEN movie may have just scored a major talent.

According to the folks over at The Hollywood Reporter:

"Jessica Chastain is in negotiations to star as the villain in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the latest installment of Fox’s banner-carrying X-Men movie franchise...

If a deal makes, sources say Chastain would play Lilandra, the empress of an alien empire called the Shi’ar, who leads the quest to imprison and execute Dark Phoenix, leading her into conflict with the X-Men."

What's interesting here is that THR is categorizing the character as a villain, but that wasn't necessarily the case in the original Claremont/Byrne comic. In the original text, Lilandra's sister, Deathbird, was the villain. One could make the case that Lilandra's villainous because she brings Jean Grey to trial for wiping out an entire goddamn solar system, but that strikes us as a bit of a stretch. Of course there's any other number of ways Lilandra could be made villainous, but for now let's just take that element of this report with a grain of salt.

This will be Simon Kinberg's first at-bat directing an actual X-Men movie, while it will be the franchise's second run at adapting the Dark Phoenix storyline. One has to assume that any attempt to adapt this narrative will be better than the bastardized version we got in Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand, but maybe let's don't count those eggs before they've hatched (speaking of hatching eggs: I'm told that Lilandra's species - the Shi'ar - is avian, and has the ability to lay them). 

What do you folks think about all this? Excited to see a new take on the Dark Phoenix storyline? Like Chastain for Lilandra? Are you maybe just thrilled that Bryan Singer isn't directing this one? Sound off in the comments below.