CINEMACON: Disney Shows New Clip and Footage from DARK PHOENIX
Those curious about the recent acquisition of Fox by Walt Disney Pictures may not need to worry too much as that very large elephant in the room was brought up from the very start with a sizzle reel incorporating properties from both brands. There was also a lot of talk about Fox and Fox Searchlight’s successes in 2018 as much as Disney’s.
Not too long into the Disney presentation at CinemaCon, Vice Chairman of 20th Century Fox Film and President of Production Emma Watts, who was given that role in October, came out to talk about some of the Fox movies coming up, put into the unfortunate position of following the Avengers: Endgame footage.
Before showing the footage, Watts stated that writer/director/producer Simon Kinberg has crafted a “dramatic finale worthy of its predecessors Logan and Days of Future Past.” (Oh, come ON… Apocalypse wasn’t THAT bad!)
She then recited the synopsis for Dark Phoenix, in which “the X-men face their most formidable adversary yet, one of their own.” She talks about how Jean Grey is bombarded with cosmic energy while on a space rescue mission on the NASA space shuttle (so we’re well into the ‘80s now? I wonder if the Challenger explosion has happened already or not.).
“Jean Grey discovers that her extraordinary abilities have been amplified exponentially, making her infinitely more powerful and far more unstable, causing her to lash out at the ones she loves most and tearing the family apart,” Watts continued. “As Jean finds herself on the run, hunted by human and mutant alike, Charles Xavier must reconcile his own mistakes and find a way to reunite the X-Men one last time.”
The footage opened with James McAvoy’s Xavier telling NASA that help is on the way without reveling what the rescue mission entails. “We’re doing space missions now,” Evan Peters’ Quicksilver asks him. “Cool.”
Apparently they have to save some astronauts and Nightcrawler vanishes a few members of the team from the space to whatever they’re rescuing. During this mission, the entire team is bombarded with cosmic rays and Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey goes missing.
“She should be dead,” Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique says, and apparently the kids of the X-Men have started calling Jean “Phoenix” (because she returns alive, like a Phoenix. Get it?)
We then got our first look at Jessica Chastain as… well, some mysterious woman with white hair who isn’t named. (Cassandra Nova? A new White Queen?) Jean asks who she is and Chastain responds, “The better question is, who are you?”
Everyone starts noticing that Jean is changing, and Jean says that when she loses control, bad things happen, and we see one such bad thing as a helicopter comes crashing to the ground and the rotor comes whizzing towards Michael Fassbender’s Magneto. “But it feels good,” she adds.
“That power destroyed everything it came into contact with… until you” mysterious Chastain-villain tells Jean, “They fear you, and what they fear, they seek to destroy.”
We then get a montage of some of the X-Men trying to do just that with Magneto using his powers to animate machine guns, and we get to see some of Quicksilver’s fun powers at work, though it’s clear they’re no match for the newly-powered Jean Grey. “She’ll kill us all,” someone says – probably either Xavier or Magneto.
“Are you threatening me?” she asks Magneto.
“That’s right,” Magneto responds.
“That would be a bad idea,” Phoenix responds doing something to Magneto akin to what he’s done to Wolverine in the comics when he’s ripped out Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton.
Even though I hated X-Men: The Last Stand, this looks quite a bit better, and the new footage, especially that of Jean using her powers fighting with other X-Men, makes me think that Simon Kinberg got the Dark Phoenix saga right with this one. Also, I’m a big fan of the underdog, so I’m kind of rooting this one, even though the footage was shown right after footage from the hotly-anticiated Avengers: Endgame.
“It’s the perfect epic send-off for our X-Men series,” Watts said after the footage.
You can decide for yourself when Dark Phoenix opens on June 7.
Edward Douglas has been writing about movies and other forms of entertainment for over 25 years, so he’s probably older than you.