Yesterday 20th Century Fox promised an X-Men shaped surprise and it arrived in the form of the third and final trailer for Dark Phoenix. Check out the trailer below and then follow us for a deep dive in to some of the trailers biggest and most revealing moments!
Heroes for hire
For the first time in X-Men cinematic history the team are in the spotlight for their heroic antics. The trailer opens with Prof. X (Jame McAvoy) sending the team on a mission to space.
This is all new territory for the titular team as we see them venture in to space in a newly redesigned version of the Blackbird.
It’s an interesting new twist to see the team being celebrated. After almost 20 years of a franchise in which they have been shunned by society this is finally something unique. It’s a shame this concept is only being explored as the franchise moves over to Disney and potentially comes to an end.
Of course the mission brings apparent tragedy as Jean (Sophie Turner) becomes infected with the Phoenix force whilst trapped on the rescued crew’s ship.
Just what is the Phoenix force in Dark Phoenix?
Something we don’t yet understand in this movie is exactly what the Phoenix force is. We see in the trailer that it’s still a cosmic cloud which catches Jean whilst she on the NASA ship the X-Men have been sent to rescue.
In the comics the Phoenix force is an ancient consciousness which is related to the Shi’ar Empire and their leader Lilandra Neramani. Initial rumours pointed to Jessica Chastain playing the role of Lilandra. That has since been debunked although we still don’t know for sure who she will be playing.
It does seem there is some sentience to the force as it seems to target Jean in the scene depicted in the trailer. What remains to be seen is whether this will be explained in the movie or whether it will be a coincidental accident which unlocks some latent feelings in Jean as it did in The Last Stand.
After the accident in space it seems Professor X is taking things personally once again. We see Charles reaching for the whiskey when Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) intervenes and exclaims “She should be dead.”
Given his enthusiasm at sending the team to space has the good Professor fallen victim to his own success. Has the acceptance of the wider world gone to his head and clouded his judgement?
We know that Raven will fall foul of the Phoenix force when it emerges but this wouldn’t be an X-Men movie if there wasn’t friction between the two. We think the two will fall out over Charles’ decision to send the team to space. Raven will likely call his actions too rash, pushing the team too far in the hope their heroic actions will continue to ingratiate mutant kind with humans.
If she dies without making peace with Charles that will surely impact on his emotional state for the rest of the movie. Could this be Charles’ darkest hour?
The biggest mystery currently surrounding Dark Phoenix is exactly who Jessica Chastain will be playing. We know she is an alien. We know that alien has designs on Jean Grey.
What we do know is that the character has a grand plan in mind for Jean/Phoenix. Throughout the trailer we see the character trying to steer Jean in a certain dark direction.
Presumably the accident in space will bring some media attention on Jean and catch the attention of the unnamed character (literally go on IMDb, she has no name).
This begs the question of: what is the characters endgame?
This is both a point of hope and concern for Dark Phoenix. On the hopeful side it could mean the producers have been able to keep some big secrets about where the movie will go. On the flip side it could mean we have yet another comic book movie where the villain has convenient and unclear motivations.
“The Force Emerges”
Say what you will about repeating the problems of The Last Stand but director Simon Kinberg have some up with some great visual cues for Phoenix.
Throughout the trailer we see the force emerge via cracks in Jean’s skin. Back in 2006 The Last Stand used a more veiny method to show Jean’s inner power breaking through.
They’re not hugely different approaches but here it feels much more like a metaphor for Jean breaking apart as the power within her grows. There’s more subtext here and it does seem to signify some deeper thinking on how the character should be represented.
Fans will remember that back in 2006 it was Professor X (then played by Patrick Stewart) who was ripped apart by Phoenix. Could we be about to see that story flipped on its head with Magneto (Michael Fassbender) becoming the victim?
Various scenes in the trailer point to Charles and Erik being at loggerheads once again. It’s not hard to imagine the death of Raven is behind their latest falling out. We also see that Beast (Nicholas Hoult) sides with Magneto, clearly blaming Charles for her death.
We also get to see flashes of what happens when the Phoenix arrives on Genosha and casques havoc for Erik and his followers. Could all this culminate in the Phoenix force tearing apart the X-Men’s most famous villain?
It would be the ultimate redemption for Erik if he died trying to save Jean from herself and would this alternate timeline full circle. Given what happens we see in subsequent scenes that could very well be the case.
Repeating the mistakes of The Last Stand?
Fans who remember 2006’s The Last Stand (sorry) will remember that movie culminated in the death of Jean. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was the only character powerful enough to break through the Phoenix’s power to kill Jean before she brought about the world ending event.
That scene took place at the end of a huge scale battle all centred on the mutant cure. We are almost completely sure there’ll be no cure in this movie but that doesn’t mean the ultimate ending won’t be the same.
The scene above seems to show the Phoenix force utterly out of control with Scott (Tye Sheridan) on the sidelines. On the plus side that means Cyclops survives a lot longer than he did in The Last Stand so there’s a bonus.
The shots from this scene do seem to point towards Scott having to make a choice on how to deal with Jean. As the power of the Phoenix swirls around causing destruction Scott screams to her before we see Jean seemingly sucking the life force from those caught in the maelstrom of her power.
As director of this movie – Simon Kinberg – also wrote The Last Stand it stands to reason that his rationale for the character remains the same. Does he feel that ultimately Jean has to die following her actions as Phoenix? Or will he break his own mould and Jean will make it through the movie alive?
In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling our of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite – not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.
Dark Phoenix is being directed by Simon Kinberg. James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender are confirmed to return to the roles of Charles Xavier, Mystique and Magneto respectively. Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp and Kodi Smit-McPhee will also return.
The film is due for release on June 7, 2019.