Mahmut Akay, the filmmaker behind the popular, recent Wolverine fan film Close Shave, has released Grey Cafe, a new short that takes a look at X-Men founding member Jean Grey. In the short, Jean uses her powers to essentially force-choke a number of people, while some look on terrified, others with glee, and one man tries to stop her. It's a creepy look inside the head of Marvel's most tortured psychic, and it managed to do its thing without ever leaving the confines of a cafe (as the title Grey's Cafe might imply).
Joining Akay on this particular outing is Adi Shankar, who is a producer of comics adaptations bot official (Dredd) and unofficial (Dirty Laundry, a Punisher fan film so popular we actually referenced it when we wrote about Close Shave). Clocking in at a little more than two minutes, the weight of the short falls on the performances and the editing, both of which are pretty great.
You can check it out below.
Like Close Shave before it, Grey's Cafe has the feel of some of those clever, subversive fan films that have longevity, whether it's The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special or Dirty Laundry itself. The aesthetic, though, is pretty in line with the rest of Akay's shorts, which you can check out at his official website. And as in his other shorts, you can see a lot of attention given to the craft. This isn't just an excuse to use characters he loves; he also wants to use them to do something visually arresting.
This isn't exactly the first time we've seen Jean Grey go a little bit crazyin live action, of course; she debuted in 2000's X-Men and was played by Famke Janssen. That version of Jean appeared in a quartet of films (plus a cameo in The Wolverine), first the X-Men trilogy of the early 2000s and then X-Men: Days of Future Past, which saw her appear as an older, alternate-earth version of Jean. She appeared in two more movies -- X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Dark Phoenix -- played by Sophie Turner.
In X3: X-Men United and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Jean's powers went out of control as she became a threat bigger than the villains she was facing.
Of course, in the time since then, fans have wanted to know when we will see the X-Men head back to the screen. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will obviously get the characters into the mix at some point or another (with Deadpool 3 seemingly coming first), but nobody knows when that will be, what context it will have, or who might play the characters.
What do you think of Grey's Cafe? Who would you like to see play Jean when she finally comes to the MCU? Sound off below.