The trailer for the next chapter in the X-Men saga, Dark Phoenix, has arrived, and it introduces two new mutants who are allied with Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Andrew Stehlin plays Red Lotus, while Kota Eberhardt plays Selene... and it looks as though Beast (Nicholas Hoult) may end up allied with Magneto as well.
Directed by veteran X-Men writer Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix focuses on Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) as she grapples with a seductive and powerful force - the Dark Phoenix - that threatens to consume her mind entirely. The film takes place about ten years after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse and will bring back many of the cast members from that movie, including Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler and Alexandra Shipp as Storm. Jessica Chastain will also appear in a mysterious villain role that has yet to be named.
Stehlin and Eberhardt can be seen briefly in the Dark Phoenix trailer, standing and facing down Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) in an adversarial manner alongside Magneto and Beast. Their characters aren't immediately recognizable, but IGN confirms that Eberhardt is playing Selene, a mutant who (in the comics) attained immortality by draining the life force of others, and Stehlin is playing a character called Red Lotus. In the comics, Red Lotus is the alias of Paul Hark, the heir to a Triad and a dangerously skilled martial artist. Stehlin's background is in stunts, so he'll likely be showing off some impressive moves as Red Lotus.
In the trailer, Jean Grey finds Magneto living in a mutant commune on an island, ostensibly "looking for answers," and later we see the commune under attack, with Jean using her powers to crash a helicopter. Magneto is seen donning his iconic metal helmet, and then standing opposite Professor X and the other X-Men with Selene, Red Lotus, and - rather worryingly - Beast at his side. The clip could be out of context, but Beast is shown becoming increasingly angry and frustrated with Xavier in the trailer, so it's quite possible that he ends up getting recruited for Magneto's new Brotherhood of Mutants.
A still from Dark Phoenix, released via IGN, shows a battered and helmet-less Magneto surrounded by Red Lotus, Selene, Beast, Nightcrawler and Storm - another sign of potentially shifting alliances. Storm and Magneto were two of the Four Horsemen in X-Men: Apocalypse, so they share an interesting history. As for Nightcrawler, Jean was one of the first friends that he made upon his arrival at Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters, so he would probably stop at nothing to try and save her.
Magneto himself has proven to be quite a sympathetic character at times, and in the trailer he condemns Jean's Dark Phoenix powers as "evil." While he and Xavier are usually divided on the issue of how to deal with humanity's oppression of mutants, Dark Phoenix could instead see them divided over whether to try and save Jean... or kill her before she does too much damage. Either way, it looks like Magneto will have a new Brotherhood of Mutants at his side.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020