The new trailer for X-Men: Dark Phoenix may look on the surface to be just the latest part of the marketing push for the much-belated mutant outing, but it's, in fact, the first involvement of Disney in the franchise. Dark Phoenix was originally supposed to release in November 2018 before being pushed back to February 2019 and eventually this coming June, a series of delays that mean its marketing campaign has been in full swing for seventeen months.
Much has been made about how this will be the last main-series Fox X-Men movie. Now that Disney has bought Fox 2000 and all its assets, the rights to these characters are under Marvel Studios' remit, with plans to eventually reboot the mutants in the MCU. But before that happens, the Mouse House needs to release the movies that are in the can: both Dark Phoenix and New Mutants will technically be Disney releases.
Dark Phoenix's new trailer would appear to be the first under the eye of Walt Disney Studios. The movie was already part of Disney's presentation at CinemaCon earlier this month, but now it's going wide. Indeed, President of Marketing Asad Ayaz has been hyping up the drop since yesterday on his Twitter:
As first pointed out by Trailer Track's Anton Volkov, the new synopsis includes the phrase "It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies", a turn of phrase Marvel fans will be all too familiar with from the marketing for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. This ending angle was never pushed by Fox (of course, they couldn't acknowledge the imminent changeover) but now brings the X-Men and MCU, if only by marketing spiel, in line.
The resulting trailer is also interesting. The most striking and evocative tease for Dark Phoenix yet, its careful presentation of story beats alongside core character conflict is different to the vaguer and moodier drive of previous trailers - and much more in-keeping with Disney's house style (except on the more heavily-secretive Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame). It's unknown who edited the trailer and whether it was commissioned before or after the Disney purchase of Fox was finalized, but it definitely has hints of a shift towards more standard Marvel marketing.
What the new Dark Phoenix trailer really shows, though, is how forward the release will be. It had been speculated since the Fox deal was first mooted that the remaining X-Men films would be released on streaming services - likely Hulu - but the eventual truth is the exact opposite, with the push behind at least the prime X-Men film comparable to any other summer release. The question now falls to whether New Mutants will get similar attention.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020