After the first X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer was released, we've been getting more and more new details about the film, and now we have an official breakdown of exactly where it fits in the X-Men Movies timeline.
We've known that Dark Phoenix would follow its predecessors (X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse) by covering a new decade of American life: the 1990s. However, in a new interview with Empire, director Simon Kinberg revealed that X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be set in the exact year of 1992:
"It’s 1992, nine years after Apocalypse. The X-Men have become the X-Men that many of us know from the comics – they are heroes. They’re still viewed as different by society, but they’ve been more embraced than ever before. And when the movie starts in 1992, they are a known superhero team."
As stated, this is in keeping with the "First Class Timeline" of the X-Men movies, which began with X-Men: First Class in the 1960s, and has since moved through the Vietnam era of the '70s (XM:DoFP) and the Cold War era of the '80s (XM:A). For Marvel Comics lovers, that year is also a period of time in which the X-Men comics were relaunched under Chris Claremont and Jim Lee, with the former being the architect of the X-Men's sci-fi influenced story events, including "The Dark Phoenix Saga" in the '80s. Those '90s X-Men books sort of positioned the team for the modern era, which is ironically what this latest film is proposing to do as well.
Or at least that was the plan. X-Men: Dark Phoenix will now seemingly be one of the last films in Fox's X-Men movie universe, as it's been confirmed that Kevin Feige will soon be taking over the X-Men characters. That leaves Dark Phoenix with the opportunity to go all and bring the franchise to an epic close, with some fans wishing for or speculating that the film could even have a fun post-credits scene that would open the door for the X-Men to transition into a Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the meantime, it's going to be fun to see how X-Men: Dark Phoenix will treat the '90s-era, and how that period of time will serve as a metaphor for this X-Men story. There's a lot that could be covered, not least of which being the correlation between Jean Grey's story and the larger theme of female empowerment, which was a staple of the '90s.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits theaters on February 14, 2019. The New Mutants will follow on August 2, 2019.