X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer kills a main character, but why?


A new X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer released Wednesday night and pulled an unlikely rabbit out of its hat.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix is the swan song to Fox’s universe of mutants, which arrived in 2000 with X-Men and Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine. It stems from Disney’s blockbuster deal with Fox, as it includes this famous property, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four’s rights.

Prepping for the end, Dark Phoenix released another trailer Wednesday night. Reactions were mixed across social media, but it included one eye-popping moment: the death of a character.

It’s public information, but for those not planning to watch the latest Dark Phoenix clip and want to wait for the film’s release, this is the time to stop scrolling.

Yes, that shockwave killed Mystique, and there’s the cemetery scene to prove it. Director Simon Kinberg revealed to EW why it was decided to reveal this in the trailer and not wait for the movie’s arrival this summer:

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"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."

An interesting decision to say the least, especially with Mystique’s importance to the X-Men prequel universe. Even if she’s revived mid-movie, and superhero movies and television shows have done this more than once, it’s still an incredible spoiler to drop and lose some of the mystery.

Marvel Studios and DC Extended Universe productions have not done this before with important characters. Dead Avengers were not in the Avengers: Infinity War or Endgame trailers. No one saw one of DC’s most prominent heroes perish in the lead-up clips to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, Wonder Woman or Aquaman.

Maybe that gives something like Dark Phoenix reason to do this, as it needs buzz amid the Disney-Fox deal and the plethora of superhero films set to precede it: Captain Marvel, Hellboy, Shazam and Endgame. Plus, its budget crossed $200 million.

Does dropping this spoiler help Dark Phoenix‘s case to lure an audience and make money, though? X-Men is still a recognizable brand, and that alone can draw a crowd. That may not make Mystique’s death matter for the bottom line, but it’s not the buzz anyone expected, or desired, for a film to spoil a significant part of what it will show.

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Of course, not everything may be what it seems, and Dark Phoenix takes a drastic turn that throws off viewers when they see it in theaters on June 7, 2019.