‘Halt and Catch Fire’s Toby Huss Auditions For ‘Dark Phoenix’; Role Hinting To Shi’ar Empire?

Jun 7, 2017


We’ve been collecting various audition tapes for both Fox’s X-Men: The New Mutants (Growing Pains) and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Teen Spirit). The most recent revealing indie actor Josh Higgins (Hellion) auditioned for a role in New Mutants, while a bit longer ago we discovered Alexa Swinton (Billions) had read for the role of Marie (Rogue?) in Dark Phoenix.

Omega Underground has uncovered yet another Dark Phoenix audition tape and this one could possibly be just as revealing as the last one.

Film, television, and voice actor Toby Huss (Colony, Halt and Catch Fire, Cowboys and Aliens, Ghostbusters, Venture Bros., Beavis and Butt-Head, King of The Hill, Rescue Dawn) has been revealed as a potential new cast member via audition tapes (labelled TEEN SPIRIT and screenshot posted above) as he’s reading for the role of a bureaucrat/recon agent named “Hoover”.

Toby’s Halt and Catch Fire co-stars include Lee Pace, who played Ronan in Guardians of The Galaxy and Thranduil in The Hobbit films, Scoot McNairy had a small role in Batman v Superman and a Marvel short, and Mackenzie Davis was in the mix to play Domino in Deadpool 2.

The cadence in his voice suggests a foreign or alien nature to his character, as the person he talks to seemingly is unaware of the United States and maybe even humans. It’s possible this Hoover character works for the Genosha government, or the reading is being obscured for a role linked to The Shi’ar Empire as it suggests he’s doing some human recon.

I’ve transcribed the tapes as we’re expecting the studio to have them pulled soon, along with them being disabled to be added directly to this page.


Hoover: Have you learned their language?

2nd Character: Please, there are only 171,000 more than 40,000 of which are obsolete. 

Hoover: They are a primitive people. They have never been a threat to anyone but themselves. 

2nd Character: If that was so true, we wouldn’t be here. So, what have you learned? What type of weapons do they have? Who are their most powerful protectors? 

Hoover: They call themselves SEALS, and their the ones responsible for what’s happened.


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Hoover: Mr. Manning. Mr. Manning! There’s been a change of plans, the Minister will discuss the matter somewhere less public I’ve arranged for an office near by. I’ll drive you there, come with me please. 

Manning: The agreement was we would meet here. 

Hoover: He’s no longer comfortable with that. 

Manning: This will only take a couple of minutes.

Hoover: He’s a busy man, if you can’t adjust your schedule you could give that to me and make sure that’s delivered to him. 

Manning: I have to give this to him. 

Hoover: Then, you’ll have to meet him at the office, so you’ll have to cancel the meeting. The Minister is available today and today only. And it will be quite some time before another meeting is possible. 

Manning: I need to get something from my room, first.

Hoover: Hmm. Well then, your trip here has been a waste unless you’re prepared to stay another week. At least. 

Manning: I can’t stay that long.

Hoover: I see, that’s your decision. 

You can see the tapes for yourself here and here, until 20th Century Fox has them taken down.


I have to imagine this bureaucrat/recon role is more likely connected to The Shi’ar Empire and their super-team the Imperial Guard, mainly because of their close ties to the Dark Phoenix story. The film’s producer Hutch Parker, recently alluded to them opening the door to the cosmic side of the franchise during an interview with ScreenRant. Also mentioning Guardians of The Galaxy as a benchmark.

“I can’t really speak to anything specifically but I think the challenge as offered by all the films we’ve mentioned [including Guardians Of The Galaxy] is very – we’re very aware of the challenge that those movies pose and what it sort of demands of us as storytellers mining, again, one of the great comic runs in The Dark Phoenix Saga. Our hope and the expectation is to try and do something that feels different, that takes the audience into a different tone and a different sense of cinematic style that is appropriately suited to the story we’re telling.”

“We… know that it’s not as simple as picking up where we left off in any way. We actually have to be bolder [sic] and more inventive than that. [Getting cosmic] is certainly a possibility. That is certainly a possibility. Yes.

In the first tape, the characters are speaking more in the tone you’d expect from aliens in Guardians of The Galaxy rather than a diplomatic envoy learning about America.

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Genosha seems a good fit, although, it seems very odd that if they were an advanced technologically like in the comics, they wouldn’t be well informed about the United States. There’s also some strange dialog concerning the language, again giving off an alien vibe.

Genosha is a fictional country appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is an island nation that exists in Marvel’s main shared universe, known as “Earth 616” in the Marvel Universe and a prominent place in the X-Men chronology. The fictional nation served as an allegory for slavery and later for South African apartheid before becoming a mutant homeland and subsequently a disaster zone. The island is located off the Southeastern African coast northwest from Seychelles and northeast of Madagascar. Its capital city was Hammer Bay.

We’ve also recently posted a list of a majority of the art department crew, including that Max Mad: Fury Road/Suicide Squad’s Guy Norris and Richard Norton will be working on the film’s stunt choreography.

Not to mention, our New Mutants casting report on Blu Hunt being the favourite to play Mirage aka Danielle Moonstar was recently confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Boone, and Hunt herself. Along with being the first to reveal the film’s main shooting location would be Boston.

Production on Dark Phoenix aka Teen Spirit shoots this summer at Montreal’s MELS Studios with a release date of November 2nd, 2018.


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