X-Men Dark Phoenix

This post contains spoilers, all of which are seen in the new X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer.

The latest Dark Phoenix trailer teased the new crisis the X-Men have to contend with: Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), who starts to lose control of her telekinetic abilities. In fact, it did much more than tease. It confirmed the death of a major character. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) will meet her end in this movie, and it’s not one of those superhero deaths that’s only temporary. In fact, it will really shake things up for all the mutants, whether they’re on Xavier’s team or in Magneto’s brotherhood. But apparently it’s not the only death we’ll see in the movie.

Director Simon Kinberg recently had an extensive chat about what’s shown in the trailer, and he revealed that there will be more casualties among this roster of mutants. He also discussed that massive train sequence and Jessica Chastain‘s mysterious character’s motivations. But perhaps most importantly, he discussed whether or not this is the end of the X-Men franchise as we know it.

X-Men Dark Phoenix

Killing Off Mystique

Jennifer Lawrence is one of the biggest stars of this franchise. Why kill her off, and why ruin that in the trailer? Well, there’s a reason for that. Kinberg explains:

“The thought process behind that was to primarily show that this is a movie that is unlike other X-Men movies. It’s a movie where shocking things happen, where intense, dramatic things happen. People don’t just fall off buildings and dust themselves off and walk away. There’s a reality to this movie and a consequence to this movie. Even more than that, it was to show that Jean/Dark Phoenix is genuinely a threat to everyone, including the X-Men.”

Already, this sounds like it’s heading down the same path as X-Men: The Last Stand with the Dark Phoenix storyline. In that sequel, Professor X was the one who met his end because Jean Grey was starting to lose control of her powers. Kinberg’s explanation of that could even work for The Last Stand:

“I felt it was the strongest, most dramatic thing for the movie, and sometimes you have to make those kinds of hard decisions to service the larger story. And the larger story really is Jean cracking up, losing control because she’s more powerful than anyone else in the world. To dramatize that properly, you have to show real loss, you have to show real pain and show real threat and menace. I didn’t want to do that by her blowing up a building with anonymous people in it. It had to feel really personal for the X-Men, and I wanted it to be something that would fracture the X-Men as well. Mystique is someone who in our universe has been part of the X-Men and has been part of Magneto’s world. Her death impacts literally everybody.”

Jessica Chastain and the Phoenix Force

Little is known about Jessica Chastain’s character in Dark Phoenix, but Kinberg keys everyone in to her motivation and how dangerous she is:

“Her character is an alien. She comes from another planet. When you see the entity that enters Jean in space is not a solar flare — it’s a cosmic force. For those that know the comic, they know what the force is. Chastain’s character is drawn and has been seeking out that cosmic force, and it leads her to Earth and to Jean. It’s a force she either wants to control or destroy.”

That force is confirmed to be the Phoenix Force from the comics. So unlike X-Men: The Last Stand, it’s not just Jean Grey’s powers by themselves that are spiraling out of control. There’s some kind of force that comes from the X-Men’s brief sojourn into space that takes a serious toll on Jean Grey.

But Jean isn’t alone in the strength of her powers. Jessica Chastain’s character is said to be as strong as Jean mentally, so much that Jean cant even read her mind. That’s just part of her skillset though. Kinberg says, “She has a whole suite of powers that we explore in the movie; some of them are mental and some of them are physical. There’s a whole sequence where she basically takes apart the X-Men.”

X-Men Dark Phoenix

That Train Sequence and More Death

The Dark Phoenix trailer ends with a tease of a massive action sequence that takes place on a train where all the mutants are being held captive. It’s all thanks to that sequence in New York where Jean goes crazy and lets her powers loose on her childhood neighborhood, not only killing Mystique but wreaking havoc on the entire block. That’s where a new scene-stealing Quicksilver sequence will unfold as well.

You’ll notice there are two new mutants on the train on either side of Magneto (one of them is Selene from the Hellfire Club, but that society doesn’t appear in the movie). But as we saw in the trailer, they won’t be stuck imprisoned together for long. Kinberg explains:

“I don’t want to give too much way because it is one of our biggest sequences. As consequence of what happens in New York, the X-Men and Magneto and the people Magneto has brought with him end up in that train. There’s an attack on the train and Jean is part of it, and at a certain point does float out of the train and with her powers that are supercharged by this Phoenix force inside her, literally rips the train off the tracks and sends it spinning through the air and people go flying of the train. It ends well for some and not so well for others.”

This might be one of the sequences where we get even more death in the X-Men ranks, because Kinberg promises “There are certainly other major casualties in this.” So Mystique likely won’t be the only character meeting their end in this movie. And that’s because this movie is being treated as the climax of the X-Men franchise.

X-Men Dark Phoenix

The End for the X-Men

You might think the X-Men franchise is coming to a head solely because of 20th Century Fox merging with Disney, which will eventually put the X-Men in the hands of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Kinberg saw this as the culmination of the X-Men franchise from the beginning. The director says:

“I started this movie long before Disney purchased Fox, and I approached the movie knowing that it was the fourth movie with our First Class cast and that the Phoenix story for me is the ultimate X-Men story. I approached the movie like it was the culmination in some ways — not that there couldn’t be other movies, but I did approach the movie as if, like, if you spent 20 years of living with this family, this is the movie you see the family truly tested, fall apart, and hopefully come back together. There was something about that sense of closure for the family, that sense of test, that sense of loss. It felt like not this is the end necessarily, but this is it for them.”

So even if Disney wasn’t buying Fox, this was likely going to be the end for this younger iteration of the X-Men anyway. Funnily enough, that’s also exactly what happened with X-Men: The Last Stand, which adapted the same storyline. Hopefully, this movie deals with the Dark Phoenix storyline in a much more satisfying way and doesn’t leave fans with a bad taste in their mouth. But if this new trailer is any indicator, we might be in for some disappointment, and it’s probably for the best that the X-Men are making their last stand…again.

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