WonderCon 2019 – Dark Phoenix: Simon Kinberg Had Sophie Turner Research Mental Disorders For The Film

This coming summer, X-Men fans will finally get what we hope is a more faithful interpretation of the popular Dark Phoenix storyline. The plot sees Jean Grey go dark, turning on her mutant family in what was a huge twist for the time. It’s a plot we got to see in X-Men: The Last Stand years ago, and while they technically took some ideas for it, it would be disingenuous to say they did a good job with it.

Now, with the film Dark Phoenix, they have a chance to really make this franchise go out on a high note, and that all starts with the actor really nailing the role of Jean Grey. LRM Online had a chance to participate in a roundtable with director Simon Kinberg, where he was asked about how he told actress Sophie Turner about the movie. Here’s what he said:

“I took Sophie to lunch about a year before we made this movie while I was still in the midst of writing the script. I sat her down and was like, ‘Look, this is the story we’re telling. I know you know what it is,’ because she had done her research by that point, having been Jean for a movie. ‘It’s going to require you to be the lead and carry the entire emotional heft of the film. You’re going to have to go to some really dark and disturbed places as a character and as an actress.'”

RELATED – WonderCon: Dark Phoenix Director On Rebooting The Fan Favorite Comic Arc

Kinberg then dove into what he told Turner to research for the role, and in addition to mountains of comics, he also had her look into some mental disorders, including schizophrenia:

“[I told her] ‘I want you to do an immense amount of research on schizophrenia, dissociative disorder, really deep dive into the comics’ — all the kind of preparation I just felt was necessary to get this part right, because so much rests on it. And she was 100% down for it and left the lunch saying, ‘I’m in. I’m gonna be there entirely. I’m going to be incredibly prepared.’ And she was. That day I sent her links to a bunch of books. To a bunch of YouTube videos of people with different kinds of — mostly schizophrenic disorder. She just gobbled it up and came back like a week later having read everything, sending me new videos. New questions. She was walking around with earphones in her ears with voices so that she would know what it would feel like to move through the world with voices in her head. We had more rehearsal time with this film than we’ve ever had in an X-Men movie just to really dial in the performances. And Sophie was there for like three weeks, I think, of rehearsals, before we started shooting. And she was a real creative partner in creating this character, and this character is kind of everything in this movie.”

It all sounds very promising, and while I agree with the criticism that it’s still too early to dive into a story that’s this ambitious, it’s clear that Kinberg and Turner are taking it very seriously. As a fan, I’m anxious to see if they manage to actually pull it off.

What do you think of Kinberg’s comments? Do you have faith they’ll do it justice? Let us know down below!

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SOURCE: WonderCon

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