Though Dark Phoenix has been in the works for a while, we really haven’t seen all that much footage from the blockbuster. Sure, we’ve seen a couple of trailers come out, but when considered in the context of how much time there was between previews, what we’ve seen doesn’t amount to much. It’s a bit of a surprise, given that the film is now just a few months away from release, but the marketing for the movie broke the drought in a big way today by showing off a couple of full scenes at WonderCon.
20th Century Fox held a special Dark Phoenix panel at the Anaheim Convention Center today, and in addition to having a panel featuring a bunch of stars and filmmakers, the film also showed off nearly 20 minutes of footage. It’s all pretty cool stuff, and you can find the details about it below:
The sequence started with a shot from behind the X Mansion, with the basketball court opening up and the Blackbird launching from the hanger underneath. The X-Men are on a mission – on board are Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), and Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) – but it isn’t a typical Earthbound adventure. For the first time ever they are making their way into space, and it’s clear that it’s not an environment in which they are totally comfortable.
News stations from around the world are broadcasting the event, showcasing the popularity of the world’s first superhero team. While the X-Men are on the move, Professor X (James McAvoy) is in Cerebro communicating with NASA, who are reporting an incident with a shuttle in trouble involving a solar flare. As we see through the eyes of the mutant team, however, it’s not exactly a normal cosmic event, as it looks more like there is a dangerous mass floating and getting closer to the troubled spaceship – which is shown spinning out of control with a busted thruster.
Calling the shots, Mystique notes that before they can do anything they need to stop the rotation of shuttle, but Nightcrawler notes that he can’t teleport in because he can’t see into it. The job then falls to Cyclops, who is told that he needs to blast the thruster and stop the spin. He goes below deck, lines his specialized visor up with a periscope-esque targeting system, and successfully fires an optic blast that gets the in-trouble ship to stop.
With the situation more manageable, Nightcrawler and Quicksilver are called into action to teleport to the NASA vessel – and meanwhile Storm seals the damage that’s been done with ice. In hyper-speed mode, Quicksilver takes the seatbelts off all of the astronauts, and then tosses them towards the back of the shuttle where Nightcrawler is waiting. Once everyone is collected, they BAMF and find themselves back on the Blackbird.
All seems well and good and the call is made to head home… until one of the rescued astronauts points out that the mission isn’t done yet. Their commander was in the airlock trying to fix the thruster at the time of the rescue, and he remains there with the “solar flare” getting closer and closer. Mystique wants to leave, not wanting to risk the members of her team for one more person, but Professor X insists that they stay and do everything they possibly can to save the remaining life in danger.
With Storm no longer able to keep the ship together with ice, Jean Grey boldly claims that she can slow the destruction, but she needs to get closer to the ship. Both Cyclops and Professor X back her up, though Beast notes that there is less than a minute before the solar flare hits and becomes too dangerous to survive. The call is made, and Nightcrawler and Jean teleport over, with the powerful telepath keeping the construction of the ship together. The commander is saved by Nightcrawler, but as time runs out Jean finds herself trapped as the flare hits. Cyclops screams asking where Jean is, but all they can do is helplessly watch from afar as the cosmic energy engulfs the damaged shuttle.
With Jean, we watch as she starts to absorb the energy – screaming as she does – and it’s an experience that it seems Professor X has right along with her. What adds an interesting note, however, is that while part of the solar flare seems to try and reach out to the Blackbird, Jean uses her concentration to divert it, and winds up absorbing all of it. The shuttle explodes and everyone thinks that Jean is dead. Once all the chaos is over, Nightcrawler teleports and brings her to be back with the X-Men – and while the group initially mourns, she then opens her eyes to reveal that she is alive (with a bit of orange swimming around in her irises).
The X-Men land back on Earth to much fanfare, and the celebrating continues when they get back to the X Mansion. Everyone is happy, and Professor X is feeling enough pride to cancel all classes for the rest of the day, but Mystique is definitely not happy about the whole situation. After Xavier checks in on Jean Grey, sending her to get a full medical exam, Mystique takes him into his office, and she has a frank discussion with him about the increased risks that are being taken. She is worried about the safety of the recruits, and is afraid that the wheelchair-bound telepath is taking on bigger and bigger challenges just for the sake of his ego. He counters, however, by acknowledging that mutants are being accepted unlike any other time in history, and that only one bad day could result in their kind being hated and despised again. It’s clear that it’s not an issue that is going to be solved with one discussion, but at the very end Mystique gets in one last shot, noting not only that it’s been a minute since Xavier last risked his own life, and that women are so consistently saving the men that the team name should be changed to X-Women.
Jumping ahead in the movie (and clearly skipping over some major, major developments), the other big sequence in the Dark Phoenix footage showed off a showdown that seemingly happens in the second half of the film – so if you don’t wish to be spoiled on anything, you may want to stop reading here.
Starting with Xavier in Cerebro with Cyclops, it’s made clear that Jean Grey has started to go off the deep end, and that crap is really starting to hit the fan. Beast has teamed up with Magneto, and they have decided that Jean needs to die – which, naturally, Professor X is unwilling to let happen. He psychically connects with Nightcrawler, showing the place where he needs to go, and together they travel along with Storm (after some argument) to try and stop the assassination.
The members of the X-Men then quickly find themselves in a confrontation with Magneto and Beast in Central Park, as well as two other mutants: one, Red Lotus, with braids that basically act as prehensile tentacles, and another, Selene, with the ability to control minds. Following a verbal scuffle (including an F-bomb from Cyclops), a battle begins as Magneto makes his way towards a building where Jean Grey and Jessica Chastain’s mystery character are staying, and they know that he is on his way to kill Phoenix – what is basically spelled out as an act of revenge for the killing of Mystique. The fight rages on, but the Master of Magnetism gets the upper hand when he uses his powers to pull an entire subway car out of the ground and positions it to block the entrance of the aforementioned building.
Once inside, Magneto is confronted by Jean Grey and Jessica Chastain’s character, and his big move is executed by pulling a metal banister from its spokes and pointing the jagged end at Jean. As emotional as he is, though, he can’t go through with it. Unfortunately for him, it seems that Jean doesn’t feel the same way. With her heightened abilities, she starts to crush Magneto’s head with the villains helmet… though it cuts to black before we can see what happens.
Overall, the footage was interesting if not just because it shows off a lot of new stuff that we haven’t actually seen in past X-Men movies. The titular team operates in a completely different way than other iterations – particularly with the way in which it pairs certain mutant abilities together in order to achieve a certain goal. It’s also a bit that gives us quite a lot of clarity when it comes to where all of these characters stand within this story – particularly Professor X, Mystique, Magneto, Cyclops, and particularly Jean Grey.
We’ve obviously been waiting for Dark Phoenix for a long time, but it’s now actually almost here. The film will be arriving in theaters everywhere on June 7th, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for not only more of our WonderCon footage, but also our interviews at the convention with the movie’s filmmakers and stars.