Twentieth Century Fox's upcoming X-Men movie, Dark Phoenix, screens the first continuous footage at New York Comic Con 2018 - we offer a full description of the sequence that was shown. Dark Phoenix is ultimately the culmination of the rebooted X-Men franchise, which kicked off with X-Men: First Class. But, since X-Men: Days of Future Past united the timeline with that of the original trilogy, all of Fox's Marvel movies exist within the same continuity.
Most recently within the mainline X-Men movies, X-Men: Apocalypse introduced a younger team of heroes, who now return for Dark Phoenix. The movie adapts the fan-favorite Dark Phoenix Saga storyline from the comics, which was last brought to life in X-Men: The Last Stand - though the movie wasn't well received by critics or fans. For this film, longtime X-Men movie producer Simon Kinberg takes the helm, directing Dark Phoenix. In order to promote the summer 2019 release of the latest X-Men installment, Kingberg appeared on a Fox NYCC panel along with producer Hutch Parker and stars Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan. During the panel, Kinberg and Parker debuted the first continuous footage from Dark Phoenix from early on in the film, though not the very beginning of the movie.
In the Dark Phoenix footage, the X-Men are an established team at this point in time and when the NASA space shuttle Endeavor gets knocked off course in space, the United States President calls Professor Charles Xavier - on an X-Men branded landline phone - in order to receive the team's help. While Hank McCoy is doubtful the X-Jet will be able to get to space, and voices these concerns to Professor X, the team ultimately goes on the rescue mission, as lead by Raven (who has reservations of her own that Jean Grey asks her about).
Once in space, Raven directs the other members of the team on how to use their powers to save the NASA shuttle crew from where their ship is trapped spinning nearby a red-orange energy mass. Cyclops uses a weapon specially fitted on the X-Jet for his powers to blast the shuttle and make it stop spinning, then Nightcrawler transports Quicksilver inside the shuttle to rescue the crew (it's reminiscent of the previous X-Men movies' Quicksilver scenes but much shorter) all while Storm plugs holes in the shuttle's hull with ice. Although, the X-Men are able to save the shuttle team, their captain gets left behind. Raven wants to cut their losses since the energy mass is about to emite deadly solar flares, but Professor X demands the team leave no one behind. So Nightcrawler transports Jean to the ship, where she holds it together while he retrieves the human captain.
However, Nightcrawler doesn't make it back to Jean in time, and he's only able to get the human to safety, leaving Jean behind in the shuttle when it's hit by the solar flare. Jean absorbs the energy from what's described as a solar flare. Then, another flare threatens the X-Jet, but Jean manages to redirect it, and absorbs the second flare as well. While Jean is absorbing the energy, the scene briefly cuts to Professor X in Cerebro feeling through Jean's mind what's happening. Once she's absorbed all the energy, Nightcrawler recovers her and it's clear the X-Men believe her to be dead, but Jean is still alive. The X-Men take her home, where she says she's fine. After the mission, Raven and Professor X get into an argument about taking too many risks to save humans. He says mutants are "one bad day away" from being hunted again and that the X-Men being a beacon of good is important to keeping mutants safe. Raven ends the argument by dropping a few zingers about how the women on the team are always saving the men and maybe Professor X should change the team name to "X-Women."
Altogether, the scenes showcase a fully realized X-Men team and how exactly Jean becomes the Phoenix, though none of the footage revealed what comes next for the group. Those on the panel discussed the "splintering" of both Jean Grey and the X-Men team as a whole, so viewers can expect the movie to play up the more dramatic elements of the Dark Phoenix Saga storyline. But, as evidenced by the footage that screened, Dark Phoenix will also include plenty of science fiction elements. Still, whether it's ultimately a better adaptation of the comic story remains to be seen when Dark Phoenix hits theaters next summer and fans can see for themselves.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020