'X-Men: Dark Phoenix' Cast: Storm's 'Kicking Ass,' Beast Goes Rogue and Nightcrawler Comes Full Circle

The actors tease the evolution of their characters — and how they may connect to Halle Berry and Alan Cumming.

When "X-Men: Dark Phoenix" hits theaters in June, expect your favorite mutants to be in a totally different place than they were in "Apocalypse."

While the last movie only came out three years ago, its followup is set a decade later. With the story jumping ahead to 1992, stars Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp and Kodi Smit-McPhee teased some major character evolution for each of their superheroes — Beast, Storm and Nightcrawler, respectively — when we caught up with them at WonderCon.

One thing both Shipp and Smit-McPhee made clear: this movie is all about the X-Women. "I was really excited when I read through the script when I first got it because Storm is kicking ass," said Shipp, "She is kicking all the bootay."

While the character was just learning how to control her powers in the the previous film, 10 years later, she’s a pro. According to Shipp, this Storm is a "huge part of the X-Men" and "knows exactly what she’s doing."

The actress also said her "goal" was to "give that evolution, so that when you finally see Halle playing [Storm], you know how we got there." In case you forgot, the first X-Men movie came out in 2000, meaning there’s still a few more years to go until the two timelines connect.

"Women are kicking ass and taking names," she added of the new movie. "Also fighting each other, which is sad, but it happens. It’s really cool to see the girls ganging up and really fighting for each other."

Smit-McPhee said Nightcrawler and a lot of the guys in the film are "kind of just supporting that lead woman [Sophie Turner’s titular character] which is a very beautiful thing."

He also teased that this film might explain why Nightcrawler was the way he was when we all first met him in "X2."

"We do have those moments where Nightcrawler gets to reveal a certain arc that would lead and connect with Alan Cumming’s portrayal," he said, calling that iteration "a more vicious" and "demonic" version of the character. According to Smit-McPhee, the transformation is "spurred by the frustration of so much death going on in front of him and the frustration of not being able to save certain people."

The death of a major character also changes Beast’s alliances, as [SPOILER ALERT, but not really because the director spilled it] Jean Grey is responsible for killing Mystique, Hank McCoy’s longtime friend and sometimes-love interest.

"There’s a new side to Beast and a break apart of the X-Men in this movie because of what happens to Raven" Hoult told TooFab. "Hank believes Charles’ motives and way of working aren’t always correct and he takes that as a sign that he needs to break apart and go about redemption, revenge all those sorts of things, in a different way."

One last thing that was different this time out: the amount of time Smit-McPhee had to spend in the makeup chair.

"The first one, I had the prosthetic hands, feet, on the face, eye contacts, teeth and I was actually puppeteering my own tail," he told us. "On the next one, just in respect of already pulling that off, I did request if I could have the tail gone and the eye contacts gone. I was going through my certain ailments at that point and I couldn’t pull that off, but they’re always so kind to adjust for me and my comfort."

Don’t worry, Nightcrawler didn’t lose his tail in an accident or anything, as you can clearly see it in the latest trailer. That and the eyes will likely be done with CGI.

Kodi also revealed what it was like stepping into the comics’ classic costumes for the new film, calling it a "badass" experience. "They’re so simplistic and so powerful at the same time," he added, "which is something the tone of our movie is reflecting."

"X-Men: Dark Phoenix" hits theaters June 7, 2019.

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