The end is near for Fox’s X-Men, as the new trailer for X-Men: Dark Phoenix is here to remind us. Fox has held the movie rights to the X-Men comic books for the past two decades, but that’s about to change thanks to the impending Disney-Fox purchase. The deal will give the Mouse House the rights to both X-Men and Fantastic Four, with the expectation being that Disney will eventually reboot both properties for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But until then, it’s business as usual for Fox’s mutants, starting with Dark Phoenix and continuing (maybe) with The New Mutants later this year.
Dark Phoenix is both a sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse and a film adaptation of Chris Claremont’s classic comic series, The Dark Phoenix Saga. Of course, Fox previously adapted the story back in 2006 with X-Men: The Last Stand, a movie that reduced Jean Grey’s transformation into Phoenix to a subplot in a larger narrative about a mutant cure (itself, inspired by Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men). Writer/producer Simon Kinberg has long expressed his frustration about how The Last Stand turned out and will now get a chance to redeem himself with Dark Phoenix, which he’s both writing and directing. As such, fans have been eagerly awaiting more footage to see how the Phoenix Saga turns out, this second time around.
The new Dark Phoenix trailer is now available online, following the release of the the film’s official poster yesterday. Check it out in the space below.
In an interview that went live shortly after the trailer, Kinberg went ahead and confirmed what this trailer otherwise spoils: that Jean/Phoenix kills Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) during a confrontation with the X-Men, part-way into the movie. Admittedly, this doesn’t come as a great shock, seeing as fans have theorized that Mystique dies in Dark Phoenix for a while. It had already been revealed that a major character bites the dust in the film anyway, thanks to a previously-released photo that showed most of the surviving X-Men gathered around a grave (a scene that is also featured in the new trailer). Mystique might not be the only major causality in the movie either, based on Kinberg’s latest comments and the second trailer. Indeed, the new promo includes footage from a scene that clearly echoes the infamous moment in The Last Stand where Jean killed Professor X. Here, however, it’s Magneto who’s in mortal danger, as Phoenix uses her powers to crush his helmet around his head.
The main concern at this point is that – shiny modern visual effects and different character deaths aside – Dark Phoenix is evoking memories of The Last Stand a little too much for comfort. Presumably, this is meant to suggest that things will play out better this time around, but early word of mouth hasn’t been too encouraging, between reports of reshoots and concerns about the film’s quality. There’s also the matter of Jessica Chastain’s mysterious alien character, whose main function in the movie seems to be to serve as the devil on Jean’s shoulder and little more. That may not be the case in the film proper but, for the time being, there’s valid reason to be wary about Dark Phoenix and how it’s shaping up.