The new X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer reveals a lot of new footage and story details about the movie. With Disney's impending acquisition of Fox drawing a line under the entire X-Men franchise, it's generally believed that Dark Phoenix will be the last X-Men film with the existing cast and creative team. As such, Dark Phoenix should properly be seen as writer-director Simon Kinberg's attempt to bring the entire franchise to a satisfying close.
He's attempting to do this by having another stab at adapting the classic "Dark Phoenix Saga," a cosmic X-Men adventure in which Jean Grey fell prey to mental manipulations and was transformed into Dark Phoenix (previously adapted in X-Men: The Last Stand). In the comics, Dark Phoenix swatted the X-Men aside with ease and then headed into space, where she literally consumed an entire star for sustenance, committing a horrific act of genocide. Kinberg has continually stressed that, while Dark Phoenix does deal with matters on a cosmic scale, it's a lot more grounded and intimate. As such, although Jessica Chastain's mysterious villain has been confirmed to be an alien, only the very beginning of the film appears to be set in space.
This is the second time Fox has brought The Dark Phoenix Saga to the big screen, and indeed X-Men: Dark Phoenix increasingly seems like an attempt to redo 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand - but this time, to do it right. Let's run through the second Dark Phoenix trailer and explore what it reveals about the upcoming X-Men blockbuster.
- This Page: Jean Grey's Power & Mystique's Death
- Page 2: The X-Men Mission To Space
- Page 3: Jessica Chastain's Villain & Plan
- Page 4: Professor X's Biggest Mistake
- Page 5: Magento's Role In Dark Phoenix
- Page 6: The X-Men Are Captured
37. Jean Talks To Phoenix
The Dark Phoenix trailer opens with a distraught Jean Grey sat in the rain, clearly heartbroken after recent events. Disturbingly, Jean begins to address the Phoenix within her as though it's a separate person. "Why did you make me do that," she asks it. "She was my friend." Actress Sophie Turner has noted that playing this part required her to do a lot of research on mental health issues, particularly on schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. Legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont did indeed originally intend the Phoenix to be what he called a "schizoid entity," a separate persona created by Jean's fragmented mind. Marvel later retconned it as a cosmic force, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix appears to be trying to blend the two ideas.
It's amusing to note that this will be the second superhero blockbuster in 12 months in which a major character talks to themselves (the first being Venom).
36. The X-Men Confront Jean At Her Family Home
Jean heads back to her family home in order to deal with the emotional trauma she's going through early in Dark Phoenix and the X-Men confront her. The first trailer heavily implied that the young Jean's powers flared while she was in a car being driven by her parents, causing their deaths, but that this memory was suppressed by Charles Xavier in a misguided attempt to help her heal. If that's the case, it's possible she's regained access to those memories, explaining why she's gone home. The idea of Jean going home is lifted straight from the comics; in the "Dark Phoenix Saga" she went to see her parents, who attempted to talk her round. It was used in X-Men: The Last Stand as well, and both occasions resulted in a tragedy.
35. The Death of Mystique
The Dark Phoenix trailer's opening scenes confirm what had widely been expected; Mystique dies, killed by an out-of-control Jean Grey. Mystique's approach is a powerful and poignant one, attempting to persuade Jean that the X-Men are her family now. It's not enough, though, and a blast of Phoenix Force tosses Mystique aside at deadly speed. Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique has been a major character in the post-First Class era of X-Men films, and by Dark Phoenix appears to have become the emotional center of the X-Men. As such, killing her will naturally tear the X-Men apart, with some believing Jean can be redeemed and others insisting she's gone too far and needs to be stopped. Mystique's death was hinted at in the first trailer, but it's something of a surprise to see it confirmed so blatantly in the second; most superhero films keep major character deaths a secret in an attempt to shock viewers when they go to see the film. Fox is clearly attempting to tell audiences that anything can happen in Dark Phoenix and that nobody is safe.
34. How The Movie Imagines The Phoenix Force
Whenever Jean taps into the Phoenix power, her face seems to crack, becoming webbed with lines of energy as her eyes change color. These may be visual manifestations of the way Jean's mind is fracturing; alternatively, they could also symbolize the idea that the power is literally breaking through unchecked, unable to be constrained by Jean's human frame. Whatever the case may be, this is actually an original idea, with no comic book precedent.
33. Jessica Chastain Corrupts Jean Grey
Jessica Chastain's character is a corrupting force, twisting Jean's mind and pushing her to become Dark Phoenix. In the comics, Jean fell from grace due to the manipulations of Mastermind, a predatory psychic who wanted to turn her into his puppet and ultimately became the first victim of Dark Phoenix's wrath. Chastain's character appears to serve a similar role, although her origin and purposes are still clouded in mystery. Unlike Mastermind, Chastain's villain is certainly well aware of Jean's power, and she encourages the young mutant to embrace the cosmic force inside her. Chastain appears to be inside Jean's family home, perhaps suggesting this scene is shortly before the confrontation between Jean and the X-Men.
32. Jean Grey Is Wearing A Very Distinctive Jacket
As revealed by the recent X-Men: Dark Phoenix poster, Jean will spend some time wearing a long, dark red jacket, reminiscent of the one Famke Janssen wore when she played a Phoenix-possessed Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand. While it wouldn't have been surprising to see that look appear as an Easter egg in Dark Phoenix at some point, it's surprising to see it appear so prominently in the film; it's a little on-the-nose, as though the movie is openly admitting that it's a second attempt to do this story justice.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020