X-Men: Dark Phoenix director confirms spoiler death in trailer is legitimate

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Technically, this post should come with a great big honking SPOILER WARNING but clearly, Fox and writer/director Simon Kinberg aren’t actually bothered about revealing major plot twists for the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Presumably the final X-Men film that will be released under the Fox banner before the studio’s sale to Disney concludes and the rights to Marvel’s mutants go back home, Dark Phoenix has been touted by Kinberg as not just a big finale to the franchise, but also a chance for him to right a grievous wrong by adapting the acclaimed Dark Phoenix saga much better than the maligned X3: The Last Stand did (which he actually wrote and produced). Based on what we saw in the most recent second trailer though, that doesn’t look likely.

Disappointingly, instead of giving us a proper on-screen treatment of Chris Claremont’s classic comic book story, it looks like Kinberg is actually just remaking The Last Stand. This seemingly includes having a member of the X-Men die at the hands of Sophie Turner’s out-of-control Jean Grey at her childhood home. In The Last Stand, it was Patrick Stewarts’ older Professor Xavier who was the victim (don’t worry, thanks to the franchise’s complete disregard for continuity, he got better), and this time around it’s…

Well, here’s the SPOILER rub. We’ve known for a long time there would be a casualty as promos hinted at a funeral, and in the trailer we see Jean violently blast Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique with a blast of energy before cutting to the funeral scene. Initially, when I saw this, I thought Kinberg and co were taking a page out of Marvel’s book and using clever trailer editing to just make it look like Mystique dies. After all, why would they show that they will kill off their most high-profile cast member?

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Except, I gave these people too much credit, because that’s exactly what they’ve done. Kinberg confirmed this to Entertainment Weekly, explaining that this spoiler wasn’t by accident, but rather an intentional decision to show that they’re not pulling any punches this time around.

Well, 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.


That’s all good and well, but surely you should rather let this statement be made in the full movie than a trailer? As it plays now, it smacks of a desperation to make this film – which has gone through numerous delays and reshoots and is already being dismissed by fans looking ahead to the Marvel era of X-Men – relevant again. Either way, Kinberg and Fox are using the death of Mystique at the hands of Jean as a big story catalyst in the movie – a choice that’s wasn’t an easy one, but which they felt was necessary.

I had a lot of emotions about it. I was obviously sad about it, as Jen’s friend, and also as a fan of Jen as an actress. But 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.



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Mystique’s won’t be the only death in Dark Phoenix though. Kinberg continued, explaining that “there are certainly other major casualties in this”, and, in particular, a big action sequence glimpsed in the trailer in which a Phoenix-supercharged Jean rips apart a speeding train while it’s transporting the X-Men and some of their enemies, “ends well for some and not so well for others.”

Kinberg went to talk about how Jean killing Mystique causes the X-Men to split, hints at Jessica Chastain’s mysterious alien villain, talks about Sopheie Turner’s preparations for the role of Jean, and how the cinematography of the film has evolved to become more intimate. You can go read all that in the interview, however, if you actually just want more spoilers, then how about all of them? Yes, ALL the spoilers!

That’s according to a rumored leak of most of the film’s plot that happened over the weekend. The leak appears to stem from the account of DanielRPK, who has an exceptionally great track record with scoops as of late. So you may actually need just the smallest pinch of salt here. The original source of these leaks have since been taken down, but ComicBookMovie.com still have their article on it online. I’m not going to repost the entire breakdown here (I haven’t actually even looked at them properly, just in case they turn out to be true), but feel free to peruse at your own leisure if you’re so inclined. For the rest of us though, we probably just have to wait for another trailer before everything gets revealed to us as well.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is scheduled for release on 7 June 2019.

Last Updated: March 4, 2019

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