The Dark Phoenix movie trailer shows some of the X-Men standing over a grave, so we explore the possibilities of which character may be dead. The fourth entry in 20th Century Fox's rebooted X-Men series - and the seventh movie in the series overall - Dark Phoenix tackles the beloved comic book arc, The Dark Phoenix Saga. Previously adapted for 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, Simon Kinberg tackles the comic story for a second time, this time writing and directing Dark Phoenix. Picking up after X-Men: Apocalypse, the movie features the return of many characters from the rebooted X-Men timeline.
As such, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are back as Professor X and Magneto, respectively, along with prequel timeline mainstays Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Quicksilver (Evan Peters). Further, Dark Phoenix sees the return of the younger generation of mutants introduced in Apocalypse: Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Now, after fans waited quite a long time since the first Dark Phoenix promo photos were released, Fox debuted the first teaser trailer.
One scene featured in the Dark Phoenix teaser trailer is an extension of one of those first promo photos, depicting a small funeral and grave site, presumably for a member of the X-Men. Since, based on photos and the trailer, we only know of five characters attending the funeral, there are a few possibilities of who may be in the grave. According to an early rumor, Dark Phoenix will kill off a major character. Based on the photos and trailer, that main character won't be Charles Xavier (who was killed by Jean Grey in The Last Stand), Nightcrawler, Scott Summers, Storm or Beast. That still leaves a few options, including some X-Men who have been around since First Class.
The most likely candidates to be in the grave are Mystique and Magneto, both of whom are major characters in the franchise whose deaths would leave a lasting impact on the X-Men movie series. Further, they're two characters who were not confirmed to be alive in 2023 after the timeline was changed during X-Men: Days of Future Past. As such, it could be either Mystique or Magneto, but logic leans more toward Mystique being the one in the grave, since she's a slightly more minor character than Magneto in the X-Men franchise. She also appears slightly less in the overall trailer, potentially indicating she dies part way through the film.
Another possibility, though, is that the person in the grave is Jean Grey. In the comic book storyline of The Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean Grey seemingly dies and rises again as Phoenix, who then becomes corrupted and is renamed Dark Phoenix. So perhaps the funeral scene arrives early on in the film and depicts the X-Men mourning Jean Grey before she becomes Phoenix. That would track with what we know about the Dark Phoenix reshoots, which are generally affecting the third act of the movie. So if the funeral is in the early part of the film, it wouldn't be impacted.
The last option is that the grave doesn't actually contain any dead characters and is more of a symbol of loss. The tone of Dark Phoenix is said to be darker than the previous X-Men installments, so perhaps the team loses more than one member. If that's the case, the grave - which appears unmarked in the images and trailer - could be a symbol of all those lost. Or, it could be empty for another reason. Unfortunately, with so little to go on, we can't say definitively who is in the grave in Dark Phoenix, but these are the most likely possibilities. Until Dark Phoenix hits theaters, fans can theorize about who's in the grave - feel free to share theories of your own in the comments section!
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020