The latest X-film, Dark Phoenix, is rising from the ashes, as the first trailer for the re-jiggered movie made its debut on Thursday, a couple months ahead of the film's delayed premiere date.
X-Men movies can be a little hit or miss (Apocalypse sure was a stinker), but Dark Phoenix looks promising, though fans no doubt have questions about what exactly is going to happen when Jean Grey unleashes her psychic inferno. Here are some of the biggest questions the new trailer raises as we wait for the February 14, 2019 premiere.
What is the Dark Phoenix?
X-Men newbies and anybody fortunate enough to have wiped X-Men: The Last Stand from their memory might be a little confused what’s going on with Jean Grey (Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner). In the comics, Jean is the host of a cosmic force known as the Phoenix. The power of the Phoenix is overwhelming (as seen in the conclusion of Apocalypse), but it’s dangerous and seductive too, as it can corrupt its wielder. In the comic this film seems largely based on, 1980’s The Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean turns evil and extinguishes a star, killing billions. Various aliens from the Marvel Universe and the must X-Men team up to defeat their fallen friend.
How much space action will there be?
Fans who have never read X-Men comics and only know the team from the movies might be surprised to learn how many of their mutant adventures take place in outer space. The Dark Phoenix Saga is in many ways one of Marvel’s cosmic stories, taking place all across the galaxy and culminating on the moon.
The trailer shows the X-Men launching into space, and Entertainment Weekly reveals they’re trying to rescue stranded astronauts when they’re hit with a solar flare that awakens something in Jean. That’s more or less how the comic starts too, but will the movie go deeper into space, or stay grounded on Earth?
Who is Jessica Chastain playing?
Chastain plays the film's villain, described by EW as "a shapeshifting alien." Some fans suspect she’s a member of the Shi'ar alien race, which play a big role in X-Men comics — especially in The Dark Phoenix Saga.
What did Professor Xavier do?
Once again, it appears that Charles' good intentions have lead to ruin. In the trailer, other characters accuse him of doing something to Jean. As seen in The Last Stand — which was itself a bungled, overstuffed adaptation of the comics storyline — Professor X used his mental powers to suppress the Phoenix within Jean. It seems likely that's what happened this time around too, and the Phoenix does not appear pleased. Neither is Beast, actually. Nicholas Hoult's fury blue mutant seems pretty pissed as Charles.
WHAT NEW MUTANTS WILL WE MEET?
Beast seems so pissed, in fact, that it appears he might be joining Magneto's team, at least based off of this one shot from the trailer. There are two new mutants with them, confirmed by IGN to be Red Lotus (Andrew Stehlin) and Selene (Kota Eberhardt). In the comics, Red Lotus has general super strength and agility powers, while Selene can drain the life force out of beings and she possesses some telekinetic powers. It's unclear if there will be any other new mutants in the film.
WHERE DOES MAGNETO GET OFF?
When we first see Magneto, one again played by Michael Fassbender, he seems to be living a peaceful life on Genosha, an island nation that's a safe haven for mutantkind.
"You're always sorry, Charles. And there's always a speech," he tells Professor Xavier, condescendingly, at one point in the trailer. Which, like, come on. Professor X made some mistakes, but Magneto willingly committed genocide at the end of Apocalypse. The dude has no right to be on a high horse.
WILL MYSTIQUE DIE?
Since making her debut as the character in 2011's X-Men: First Class, Jennifer Lawrence has gone on to become perhaps the biggest star in Hollywood. It's amazing, frankly, that she's still putting on blue face paint for ensemble roles in the X-Men franchise almost a decade later. With Disney's purchase of Fox, the future of the X-Men franchise is already in doubt, but it wouldn't be surprising if this was Lawrence's last go as Mystique, one way or another. Will the character die? In one shot, Beast is cradling her, and the X-Men appear to be dressed for a funeral in another scene.
WHAT CHANGED IN THE RESHOOTS?
Dark Phoenix was initially supposed to come out this November, but Fox pushed the premiere date back for February 14, 2019 in order to have a more competitive release weekend and some time for reshoots. That got fans worried, especially because the announcement came at the same time as Fox's reveal that they were pushing back the release ofThe New Mutants by over a year amidst rumors of extensive reshoots.
By all accounts, Dark Phoenix's reshoots are pretty standard — just a couple weeks worth of shots that were complicated by the actors' busy schedules. Still, one can't help but wonder what's changed, and it's hard to tell from the trailer.