Sophie Turner Will Return To 'X-Men' As Jean Grey & Here's What That Could Mean For The 'Apocalypse' Sequel
Sophie Turner seemed to be in the perfect mood for spilling the beans on Sunday night on the red carpet of the British Academy Film Awards. For most people, the highlight of her very revealing interview with HeyUGuys will undoubtedly be the revelation that Sansa will be in Season 8 of Game Of Thrones, meaning Turner's frequently unlucky character will survive through the assuredly bloody events of Season 7. But the actor actually dropped another spoiler in the same breath that affects a different, very popular franchise she's involved in: Sophie Turner said she will return as Jean Grey in the sequel to 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse — and that could mean very exciting things for the superpowered franchise.
Whatever form the Apocalypse sequel takes, whoever's in it, whatever it's called, and whatever it ends up being about… it may be coming sooner than audiences expect. "We're about to start shooting the next X-Men," Turner told HeyUGuys. "We've just finished shooting Season 7 of Thrones, and I've got a couple movies to do before X-Men starts. And then we go on to Season 8." Unless Turner was mistaken or lying to throw the reporter off the scent, the fact that she's filming the next X-Men movie before production on GoT Season 8 starts next year means that the sequel must be farther along than any of us knew.
The fate of the X-Men Cinematic Universe has been up in the air ever since Apocalypse premiered last May. That film wrapped what is known as the First Class trilogy (also including 2011's First Class and 2014's Days Of Future Past), about the younger version of the famous mutants we all fell in love with during the original X-Men trilogy (2000-2006). But with the conclusion of the franchise's second trilogy, the question on every fan's mind has been… what's next? The universe clearly isn't going anywhere, with solo outings (Logan), TV shows (Legion), and spinoffs (Deadpool, New Mutants) abounding. But what about the main tentpole franchise itself?
Ever since we learned that First Class headliners Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence are probably done with X-Men after Apocalypse, the future of the central franchise has remained cloudy. Would it revert to the original stars like Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James Marsden, and Famke Janssen, now that Days Of Future Past reset that trilogy's timeline? Would it reboot entirely for a third time, introducing a whole new team of never-before-adapted mutants? Or would it continue with the First Class generation of X-Men, minus its three main leads?
Turner's confirmation that she'll appear in the Apocalypse indicates that 20th Century Fox may be going with the option behind door number three. Even if Fassbender, McAvoy, and Lawrence aren't returning, it appears that the studio is pushing ahead with its new cast of younger stars — including Turner as Jean Grey, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp as Storm, and Lana Condor as Jubilee.
Turner's news may also confirm popular speculation about the seventh X-Men movie. Although 20th Century Fox has yet to even officially announce the existence of the film, rumors have been swirling ever since Apocalypse that the sequel would be titled X-Men: Supernova, and it would adapt the popular storyline of The Dark Phoenix Saga — which was previously adapted in the lackluster X-Men: The Last Stand, to many fans' disappointment.
If this is true, it makes sense; the seeds for that storyline were planted in the climax of Apocalypse when Jean Grey tapped into a new level of her powers to help defeat that movie's titular villain, and both Turner and writer/producer Simon Kinberg have previously expressed their interest in tackling that popular storyline. ("I definitely would love to take another stab at the Dark Phoenix story," Kinberg told Entertainment Weekly last year. "I think in future movies to come we’ll definitely see a bit more of [Phoenix]," Turner agreed.)
Now that Turner has let the cat out of the bag, hopefully there will be some announcement about the film coming from the studio in the near future. With the X-Men franchise thriving in so many different corners of the market, it would be the icing on the cake to finally hear some official news about the Apocalypse sequel.