Michael Fassbender will be once again returning to the X-Men movie franchise, once again reprising his role as a younger Erik Lensherr / Magneto in the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Thanks to the recent first-look feature on Dark Phoenix, we now have a official information on how Magneto will fit into the storyline of Dark Phoenix, as well as confirmation about the iconic X-Men locale that we'll get along with him.
Here's the reveal from the latest issue of EW:
"A confused Jean turns to Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), the rogue mutant who parted ways with the X-Men at the end of Apocalypse and now lives on an island named Genosha, a destination comic-book fans will recognize. "He's set up this place for mutants that don't have a home to go to," Fassbender explains. "They have to work as a community, but it's a safe place for them and they'll be accepted."
It sounds like the Magneto / Jean relationship in Dark Phoenix will much the same as the Magneto / Mystique one from the previous films in the First Class continuity. It wouldn't be surprising to see Magneto embrace and celebrate the destructive power of The Phoenix - though that could turn out to be a deadly mistake, if Jean's powers (literally) explode beyond her control. We already know there's going to be a major funeral in Dark Phoenix, and it would be a major (and impactful) hit to the franchise if Magneto ends up in that grave.
Meanwhile, the island of Genosha where we'll find Magneto is an iconic place in X-Men comic books. Located along the Eastern coast of Africa, Genosha was a none-too-subtle metaphor for South Africa and its period of Apartheid. The island had a unique policy of prejudice: citizens were tested at birth for the mutant gene, and if they were discovered to possess it, they were then subjected to a process of having their free-will stripped away, to become superpowered slaves called "mutates," who were considered property of the state. When a secret cabal in the Genoshan government kidnapped members of the X-Men and X-Factor teams, Xavier's students toppled the government, plunging Genosha into a period of civil war.
After Magneto made a political bid for a mutants-only nation, The U.N. conceded by awarding him Genosha, where Magneto became an effective ruler, removing the last remnants of the former era, and creating a prosperous mutant society. However, when his army became too powerful, and his ambitions too imperial, the X-Men were forced to take Magneto down, once again. Magneto's kingdom was brought down by the villain Cassandra Nova, who sent a massive "Wild Sentinel" to wipe out the island's inhabitants. Following that tragedy, Xavier and Magneto rebuilt the island together, where it remained in use until Magneto eventually blew it up and sank it.
Will Magneto have to make some kind of similar sacrifice against Dark Phoenix in the film? Or will Genosha be given a bigger role to play in the franchise? The location has actually been established in the first X-Men trilogy: it was the small rocky island that served as Magneto and The Brotherhood's base of operations. Needless to say, it could use a rebooted interpretation.
The X-Men Movie Universe continues with The New Mutants on April 13th; Untitled Deadpool Sequel on June 1st; and X-Men: Dark Phoenix on November 2nd.