In Dark Phoenix, out in theaters now, the mutant known as Dazzler finally made her way to the big screen. Played by Halston Sage, the pop-star X-Men heroine appeared briefly in a party scene about 20 minutes into the movie, and played no significant role in the story. Still, it was the culmination of everything the character was built for: she appeared onscreen, singing a pop song, just as she was imagined years ago when she was created to be a "superhero pop star," jointly by Marvel Comics and a record label with dollar signs in their eyes and visions of musical and multimedia collaborations.
Dazzler's brief appearance excited fans of the franchise, who spotted her in promotional material and were eager to see what the big-screen interpretation of the character would actually be like. In the run-up to the film's release, with fan enthusiasm waning, pictures of Dazzler were some of the most tantalizing things Fox had going for it. They were parceled out, and always very official -- unlike the image below, shared to Sage's Instagram feed, which shows her backstage in her Dazzler makeup and a simple white robe that is nowhere near as glamorous as the togs she would don to make her superheroic first appearance.
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Sage, best known for her role on FOX's The Orville, has been a rising star since her 2012 turn on How To Rock. She had memorable parts in Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Goosebumps, and a starring role in the indie drama People You May Know. Her role in Dark Phoenix might be simultaneously the most-buzzed-about and least exciting part she has played since her career really took off a few years back -- although one could argue that, regardless of the context and size of the role, most young actors would be eager to play an iconic superhero.
Unfortunately, unless Marvel or Warner Bros. picks her up for a future role, it sees likely her time as a superhero is over: Dark Phoenix was already destined to be the final Fox/Marvel X-Men movie before the property reverted to Marvel Studios, and in case there had been any doubt, the movie's dismal critical and box office performance made sure there was no turning back. You can still catch the movie in theaters, although it's likely best to do it fast: with high-profile blockbusters coming each of the next couple of weeks and Dark Phoenix wildly underperforming, it's likely to make its way out of theaters relatively quickly.
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