Next year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix film has announced the casting of 8-year-old Summer Fontana (Basic WitchesThe Originals) as young Jean Grey. While this is certainly exciting for the young actress, it is also a great news for X-Men fans. The introduction of young Jean Grey could mean that the Phoenix Force will get a proper introduction for the first time in the franchise.

'The Originals' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]
‘The Originals’ [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

In the X-Men comics, one of the most pivotal moments in Jean’s life occurred during her childhood. When her best friend, Annie, was struck by a car in a hit-and-run while the two played, Jean’s mutant powers emerged for the first time. As Annie lay dying, Jean involuntarily created a physic link with her in an attempt to keep her alive. This also brought Jean to the brink of death.

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