During the early hours of yesterday morning (Wednesday in the US), the first official trailer for X-Men: Dark Phoenix FINALLY arrived. The trailer offered up a look at the new movie, which is set to be one of the last entries in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movie series – possibly even the last entry if the ‘shot-but-not-yet-released’ The New Mutants never sees the light of day.
For those who have yet to see the trailer for Dark Phoenix, here it is in all it’s glory:
Before I comment on the trailer, I’m going to talk a little about this movie as a whole. The way I see it, Dark Phoenix is a bit of an oddity.
When this movie went into production, it was before Disney had agreed a deal to acquire 21st/20th Century Fox. As such, Dark Phoenix was initially planned as just the next chapter in the X-Men movie series – certainly not one of the concluding chapters.
With Disney taking over all Fox properties, the Fox X-Men movies will now be concluded in order for the series to be rebooted and incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Therefore, this film is not really something that Disney will be too fussed about.
Perhaps what also doesn’t help is the fact that Dark Phoenix is a film which is looking to revisit old ground. Old ground already covered in the 2006 movie, X-Men: The Last Stand – i.e. the Jean Grey/Phoenix storyline.
Is it necessary?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Many fans did not like X-Men: The Last Stand, so if Dark Phoenix proves to be better than that film then at least fans will be happier, right? Right?
I suppose the good thing is that The Last Stand was written by Simon Kinberg – the writer/director of Dark Phoenix. If nothing else, Dark Phoenix gives Kinberg the opportunity to correct past problems – let’s hope he hasn’t wasted this opportunity.
There have been some worries – the film underwent extensive reshoots and was pushed back from its original release date (Nov 2018) to its new release date (Feb 2019). But perhaps the reshoots have corrected the problems and will in time relieve the worries.
Right, enough about that, now to talk about the trailer.
The first thing to note from the trailer is Mystique’s line: “Charles, what did you do?” This line is very interesting because it plays into what we know about the Jean/Phoenix/Xavier relationship from The Last Stand.
In that movie, it was explained that Charles Xavier used his mutant abilities to suppress the volatile Phoenix side of Jean’s personality. Has he done this again?
Has history repeated itself in this movie? Has Charles been forced to take the same measures he had to take in The Last Stand? If so, how will things differ this time? What is the new variable to make this a new take on the material?
Perhaps this should be, WHO is the new variable?
Next up we’ve got the introduction of Jessica Chastain’s new character, who Jean seems to have gravitated towards. It has not been confirmed who Chastain is playing and how this role will impact the X-Men.
Presumably, Chastain will be someone very significant to the team, with early buzz suggesting she will be playing the role of Lilandra – an alien empress with a romantic connection to Charles Xavier.
I’m not sure Chastain is playing Lilandra and I’m now wondering if she will turn out to be Cassandra Nova – another character connected to Xavier.
Before anyone takes to the comments section to tell me that Chastain looks nothing like Nova, let me tell you now that I know this. However, that doesn’t mean this isn’t Nova.
It’s certainly something worth considering, if this movie is going to look at light/dark sides of characters and their personalities. After all, isn’t Cassandra Nova kind of the dark side of Xavier.
Adding to my Nova theory, the uniforms that the X-Men are wearing in this movie are the same uniforms that the team wear during Nova’s first comic book appearance. Coincidence?
Next up, let’s talk allegiances! By the looks of this trailer, the Beast has switched sides; turning his back on the X-Men to now work with Magneto.
Hmm… what’s caused him to do this?
What has caused the Beast to side with Magneto? Has to be something important right? Could it be related to the next important point….
Someone has died. The trailer shows a funeral.
We know, from the comics and from what we’ve seen in The Last Stand that Jean dies for the Phoenix to be born, but that may not necessarily happen this time around. Instead, what if it is another member of the team who has been killed?
My money is on Mystique – a character with links to Xavier, Magneto and Beast. Mystique’s death would effect various different characters in the movie and would cause Beast to move away from the X-Men.
As for the rest of the trailer. The tone suggests this will be a dark, slightly depressing movie. It also seems to be more character focused, which could be a good thing as the previous X-Men movie, X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) could have done with a little more intimate character moments.
Overall, I think this trailer isn’t bad. It’s not getting me too excited about the movie, but that could simply be because I know that this is likely to be the end of the road for the series. Either way, the trailer certainly hasn’t put me off.
Roll on February.