Along with confirming the film's official title, the long-awaited trailer for Dark Phoenix is set to a haunting and fitting song - here's what it is and what it means. Written and directed by Simon Kinberg, this will be the final X-Men film released by Fox, concluding the cinematic saga that began back in 2000. Dark Phoenix will also be Kinberg's second attempt to adapt The Dark Phoenix Saga comic book story after the failure of X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006.
Thanks to the chosen song, a sense of foreboding definitely accompanies the footage in the Dark Phoenix trailer. Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), who first unleashed her true might in X-Men: Apocalypse, is growing even more powerful and dangerous. The film rallies her fellow mutants including Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) to her aid. Meanwhile, Magneto (Michael Fassbender) takes control of the island of Genosha as a mysterious new enemy (Jessica Chastain) hatches her own plot against the Phoenix.
So what is that music? Dark Phoenix's trailer provocatively utilizes a cover of "The End", a classic track by The Doors. Released in 1967 as part of their self-titled album, "The End" is a legendary song that was originally written by The Doors' late frontman Jim Morrison about his breakup to his girlfriend Mary Werbelow. Dark Phoenix's trailer repeats the chorus "This is the end, beautiful friend... This is the end..." as Jean Grey succumbs to her transformation into the Dark Phoenix.
The song choice's implication carries a double meaning. First, it's "the end" of something or someone major within the X-Men story. "The End" ominously fits the events of the film, especially since the trailer builds to a funeral for one of the mutants. While it's not certain who dies in Dark Phoenix, considering that Jean Grey sacrifices her life in The Dark Phoenix Saga as well as in X-Men: The Last Stand, it's natural for fans to assume the same fate will befall Sophie Turner's incarnation of the flame-haired mutant psychic. But the film could surprise fans with a different conclusion and the death of someone unexpected - or have the funeral take place much earlier.
However, the greater significance of "The End" is that this is the final X-Men movie of this saga. The franchise rebooted from the original trilogy thanks to X-Men: First Class, which set the origin of Professor X and Magneto's friendly rivalry (along with Mystique) in 1962 and continued in Days of Future Past in 1973 - which was the heyday of The Doors (fans can also consider the elder statesmen of the mutants to be 'classic rock', while their students came of age in the 1980s of X-Men: Apocalypse). Furthermore, Dark Phoenix takes place in 1993, just two years after Oliver Stone's The Doors revived interest in the band and their music. The trailer is clearly positioning Dark Phoenix as an epic goodbye to the X-Men as we've known them.
Dark Phoenix has had a tumultuous flight to movie theaters. Originally scheduled for release in November 2018, the film's release was pushed back twice. Marketing began in late 2017 but then ground to a halt after the original release date was scrapped. When Disney purchased the rights to Fox's properties, including X-Men, false rumors began that Dark Phoenix's theatrical release would be canceled. The film has completed two weeks of reshoots, reportedly to fix the third act and the ending, and is primed to make its new June 7, 2019 release date.
Even if it delivers for fans and at the box office, there's no escaping the sense that Dark Phoenix is ultimately a lame duck tentpole film as the last X-Men movie from FOX with the current cast of mutants. When the X-Men come under the control of Marvel Studios, it's unclear how they will reboot X-Men for the MCU. Regardless, even if The Doors' classic track isn't in Dark Phoenix, it's a fitting song choice to use in the trailer to get fans ready to witness the end of this era of the X-Men.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019