It’s tough to make heads or tails of the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix film, due out on June 7th. It’s a complete redo of Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which came out back in 2006, featuring Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix. The film was ridiculed and derided by a lot of fans since Jean’s turn as the evil Dark Phoenix was more of a side-plot than the main focus, and Cyclops (played by a fitting but criminally underutilized James Marsden) was killed off minutes into the film in a very anti-climatic way.
Fox is giving it another go, this time under the new First Class timeline, which reset the entire universe in the film Days of Future Past, converging the Singer universe with McAvoy/Lawrence universe.
For Dark Phoenix, it picks up after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, which was a pretty terrible film that didn’t seem to know where it wanted to go. The plot for the new flick seems a lot more focused and streamlined, centering around Jean Grey’s descent into madness and her eventual turn into the Dark Phoenix.
Much like Ratner’s flick, Simon Kinberg and John Byrne seem to be skipping out on the whole Phoenix arc that actually led to the Dark Phoenix’s emergence to begin with. It was one of the more notable arcs in the X-Men franchise, but it unfolded in the comic books and the Saturday morning cartoon in a more measured way, giving fans the kind of character development required to care about Jean’s turn as the Phoenix, her fall as the Dark Phoenix, and her rise as the true Phoenix.
Here it just kind of looks like we see Jean descending into a power trip with the help of another chick, but the trailer doesn’t really explain why. Instead the trailer centers on the rest of the team trying to desperately save her from self-destruction.
Magneto poses a threat to the X-Men once more, vowing to take down Dark Phoenix but apparently being almost no match for her at all.
A couple of spoilers reveal that Phoenix obviously kills one of the team members. Given that in the spaceship sequence we don’t see Scott, Nightcrawler, or Professor X, it could be one of the three. However, I’m pretty sure Scott survives and that he’s sitting opposite of Storm, it’s just that Beast’s big head is blocking the view.
Most of the comment section on YouTube predicts that Mystique or Magneto will be the one to bite the bullet, and I wouldn’t be surprised either. Given that Beast is the one standing over the freshly packed grave in the cemetery with Professor X, it almost seems guaranteed that she’s the one that gets it.
Also, Mystique and Nightcrawler both don’t appear in the train sequence where a bunch of mutants are captured, so it seems to narrow down the field quite a bit.
The editing of the trailer is also really weird, because it first shows Magneto taking a bunch of weapons from a gun rack and firing them all at Jean while aboard the train.
But this is kind of dumb because it gives away the fact that later in the trailer, we see them aboard the train, captured. So the trailer inadvertently reveals that during Jean’s assault on the train, the other X-Men get free and Magneto uses the rifles of the fallen soldiers to attack Jessica Chastain’s character.
Usually trailers try to maintain coherency and consistency without giving away the outcomes of high-impact scenes, but apparently the marketers working on the trailer for this film never got the memo.
This isn’t to say that the film may not be interesting, because it very well could be. But I feel like this is one of those movies that would have benefited from a smaller, more personal scope, less bombast, and an ‘R’ rating, teetering closer toward a psycho-kinectic thriller like Scanners, rather than a another cookie cutter super hero flick. But that would require execs and writers to think outside the box, and that almost never happens in Hollywood.
Anyway, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is due to drop on June 7th, 2019 in theaters.