X-Men Dazzler

In April of 2016, about a month before X-Men: Apocalypse hit theaters, actress Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) tweeted a photo of her character, Jean Grey, at a mall with Scott Summers, aka Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). They were admiring the album cover of Dazzler, a mutant singer with the ability to create displays of light and energy who hadn’t appeared on screen in any X-Men movie up to that point. That scene in the mall ended up being cut from the film, but a new report indicates that Dazzler is going to appear in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the new X-Men sequel that will be directed by Simon Kinberg.

Read about the X-Men Dazzler casting news below.

Because of the cryptic wording in Turner’s tweet last year and a reference to 1989, many fans thought she was teasing that singer/actress Taylor Swift (whose album, titled 1989, was still getting serious airplay at the time), had been secretly cast to play Dazzler in a cameo in Apocalypse. Swift fans the world over were crushed to discover that wasn’t the case.

Now Entertainment Weekly promises that Dazzler will indeed appear in the ’90s-set, Jean Grey-centered sequel, X-Men: Dark Phoenix. The outlet says the character will “pop up but only in a small role” and as of right now, there is “no plan” to cast Taylor Swift in that role. That’s the sound of those hearts breaking all over again.

Here’s my question: does anyone give a crap about cameos in the X-Men movies anymore? I could understand comic fans getting excited about seeing a little nod or reference to an obscure character back in Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie in 2000, because the superhero genre was still in its infancy at that point. Those references and cameos still represented hope for the future. (“Was that Kitty Pryde? Cool! Maybe she’ll become a major character in the next film!”) But in the years that followed, this franchise has proven not to care about its smaller side characters unless its filmmakers need bodies to make Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters look crowded.

Maybe there are a bunch of hardcore Dazzler fans out there who have spent years dying to see their favorite character on screen, but I feel like that level of novelty has largely worn out its welcome by now and has more of a pandering vibe instead of feeling like a filmmaker includes a character because that person is a necessary component of the story. What do you think?

X-Men: Dark Phoenix arrives in theaters on November 2, 2018.

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