Online Betting Odds May Reveal Jessica Chastain's 'Dark Phoenix' Character

X-Men fans are convinced Chastain will play this major Marvel villain.

While the X-Men movie Dark Phoenix has legendary X-writer Chris Claremont’s name all over it, there’s actually a lot of cues from 21st century writer Grant Morrison. The influence could best be seen in the speculation over Jessica Chastain’s character, and one particularly popular guess as to which villain she’ll will play in Dark Phoenix.

Warning: Possible spoilers for Dark Phoenix below.

On Wednesday, US-Bookies released new data revealing the betting odds on a key plot detail in Dark Phoenix. The final X-Men movie from Disney’s 20th Century Fox is poised to end the 20-year film saga.

The movie features plenty of familiar faces, but Chastain’s character is still a mystery. However, fans are betting at 5/4 odds she’s actually playing Cassandra Nova, an iconic X-Men villain who may use Jean Grey’s newfound Phoenix powers to destroy her brother (Charles Xavier) and all mutantkind.

Other popular bets for Chastain’s character is that she’s an avatar of the Phoenix Force (3/1), a Skrull (4/1), or Lilandra of the Shi’ar (6/1), the ex-wife of Charles Xavier who originates from Chris Claremont’s era on X-Men and later played a big role in Morrison’s stories.

While it is illegal in the U.S. to bet on entertainment (though New Jersey state allowed folks to bet on the Oscars earlier this year), it isn’t illegal in the UK and Europe where US-Bookies aggregated its data.

Jessica Chastain Dark Phoenix
Jessica Chastain in 'Dark Phoenix,' playing a yet unrevealed character. Some fans are actually betting that she's playing Cassandra Nova, the fraternal twin of Charles Xavier.

After X-Men blew up the theatrical box office in 2000, Marvel hired Grant Morrison to reinvent the heroes for comic book shelves. Morrison took over X-Men at issue #114, where it was renamed New X-Men and heavily modernized the story for an “edgier” and older audience.

Such changes included the X-Men ditching colorful spandex for black leather uniforms, Emma Frost joining the team, and the comics adopting the film’s Xavier’s School as an actual boarding school for young mutants than a lavish training ground for only a handful of X-Men.

In his infamous pitch to Marvel, titled “The Manifesto” and reprinted in trade paperback volumes of New X-Men, Morrison aimed for his X-Men issues to have the same hype as a new Eminem album, which goes to show how aggressively 2001 things were when the series debuted.

Morrison’s New X-Men also introduced a new villain: Cassandra Nova. Because Grant Morrison is, well, Grant freaking Morrison, Cassandra isn’t just a fraternal twin born alongside Charles Xavier but a parasitic mutant who became telepathically linked to Xavier, and thus siphoned some of his powers. Upon being “born,” Cassandra set out to destroy the world, starting with killing 16 million civilians in the mutant country of Genosha.

After a brief body switcheroo with Xavier, Cassandra was eventually “killed” when she became nothing but bodiless energy and trapped in a synthetic brain.

X-Men Dark Phoenix Cassandra Nova
Cassandra Nova recently made an appearance in 'X-Men: Red' #1, released in 2018 by Tom Taylor and Mahmud Asrar.

There’s more to Morrison’s New X-Men than Cassandra, whose story served as only the first big arc of Morrison’s three-year run, but she’s still a great villain to squeeze in before Fox’s X-Men cinematic universe comes to an end.

It’s also worth noting that there’s no character in Chris Claremont’s original Dark Phoenix Saga. So it makes sense that fans (and bookies) are turning to other areas of X-Men lore to fill in the blanks.

The question of Chastain’s character isn’t the only thing X-Men fans can bet on in Dark Phoenix. US-Bookies’ data also includes odds on Wolverine making an appearance (No: 1/3, Yes: 2/1), Charles Xavier becoming a villain (No: 4/7, Yes: 6/5), and which characters will die (Mystique: 1/10, Magneto: 4/5, Quicksilver: 3/1, Nightcrawler: 5/1, and Jean Grey, 7:1).

Things are looking pretty dire for the X-Men. Regardless of who Jessica Chastain’s character is, this could be the end for some of our favorite mutants — at least until Marvel reboots them a few years from now.


Dark Phoenix hits theaters on June 7.

Media via 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment