WARNING SPOILER ALERT: ARTICLE CONTAINS SCENE DESCRIPTION SHOWN AT WONDERCON
Fox’s Dark Phoenix has had it’s run of negative publicity as it seems to be stuck in the shadow of the bad press caused by the director of the last X-Men film X-Men: Apocalypse, Bryan Singer. Also it would seem like X-Men fans are also a little skeptical about the film due to flashbacks of the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand where actress Famke Janssen played Jean Gray and a version of Dark Phoenix that was not well received at all due to it’s lack of faithfulness to the iconic 1980’s Marvel Comics’ X-Men story.
Yesterday at WonderCon in Anaheim, California the Twentieth Century Fox Panel showcased Dark Phoenix looking to raise some expectations and excite fans for the film. The panel kicked off with long time screen writer for X-Men, now director Simon Kinberg and producer Hutch Parker. Kinberg explained to attendees how important the Dark Phoenix character is to him, saying it was if favorite story line growing up. The events of X-Men: Days of Future Past the reset the timeline making it possible to “do a real version of the Dark Phoenix story”.
Kinberg emphasized that Dark Phoenix would be “emotional, intense, intimate and cosmic”. Parker also talked about how important the classic story is to this film saying that, “the underlying material is just so good and frankly it’s better than we’ve been as storytellers in some cases. This is a film that aspires to try to tackle the potential of all of that while honoring the legacy and the characters.”
There were two exclusive clips shown at the panel, again SPOILER ALERT in case you are not interested in the description of what we had the chance to see. The first clip featured a rescue mission in space. Solar flairs have left a NASA shuttle with no communications or controls leaving them in serious danger. Professor X(James McCoy) communicates with NASA and let’s them know that “help is on the way”. The team of X-Men comprised of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclopse (Tye Sheridan), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Beast (Nicolas Hoult), Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) mount the Blackbird and make their way to space to a dramatic score provided by Hans Zimmer.
Upon their arrival in space we find the disabled shuttle spinning aimlessly. They use a nifty trick to settle the shuttle, as Cyclops practically becomes a turret on the bottom of the ship and uses his ability to blast the shuttle steady. Nightcrawler and Quicksilver jump into action teleporting to the shuttle and and bring back the crew. But right as it seems like everything is going to plan, they find out that one of the crew members is still missing.
With the team running out of time as the solar flair is approaching, Mystique and Xavier argue whether or not there is enough time to rescue the missing astronaut. Quicksilver uses one of the astronauts helmets and duct tape to quickly make an air tight “suit” for Nightcrawler to go out and rescue the missing crew member. Jean teleports with him as she needs to hold the shuttle together as it is quickly coming apart. Time runs out, the flair reaches the shuttle just as Nightcrawler and the astronaut teleport back into the Blackbird, but Jean is not with them. In a very dramatic scene Jean absorbs the flare. The horrified X-Men think that the flare has killed her, but as they bring her back inside the ship, she wakes up and seems to be fine. The X-Men return to earth to a heroes welcome first at the airstrip and then back at the mansion.
With the heroes and students enjoying the successful rescue mission, which included Quicksilver taking credit for the success, tensions rise between Xavier and Mystique. She is very upset at the risks that Xavier was willing to put the team for what she thinks is his own glory. Also noting that recently he is not the one risking anything and that the missions are getting more and more dangerous all to play nice with non-mutants. The clip ends with Mystique saying “you might want to think about changing the name to X-Women”.
The clip was very well received by attendees, especially with that “girl power” moment at the end. It is noteworthy to mention that this is the only X-Men film in the franchise with a female title character. Also as Kinberg noted this is also the first time X-Men venture out into space and the first appearance of an alien in the film franchise. The panel now continued with the arrival of some of the cast of the film as well as a second clip which will be covered in a separate piece.
With what we have seen so far this looks like this could be a very solid film. True this will be the last X-Men movie that will be released that could be considered pre-Disney merger, but it was already completed by the time the deal happened and this is the way that Kinberg wanted to wrap up the story, as he believes that there is no bigger story than Dark Phoenix.
What do you think of the scene description? Are you looking forward to Dark Phoenix? Let us know in the comment section below!
20th Century Fox’s Dark Phoenix blasts into theaters June 7th, 2019.