After months of silence and rumors of test screenings not going well at all and even a few suggestions that the movie might be cancelled outright, FOX came out with a new trailer last night and it was a bit odd. Specifically, it gave away huge spoiler. Usually when a trailer spoils a main character’s death, you wonder if the directors have lost their minds. Studios usually don’t want us to know and fans usually don’t want to know, as there is a currency to plot. Defying that is like flipping the world upside down, and that’s exactly what the second trailer for X-Men Dark Phoenix did.
The latest trailer started off with a really Big Bang. Mystique has been killed by Jean Grey. Jennifer Lawrence has become a major selling point since the reboot of the franchise, so why would FOX give away such a major moment in the trailer? Well fortunately (or perhaps not) after the trailer dropped, Dark Phoenix’s director, Simon Kinberg has stated in a recent interview that the death wasn’t a fake and reveals why it was included at all. “Well, the thought process behind that was to show that this movie is unlike other X-Men movies. It’s a movie where shocking things happen. People don’t just fall of buildings and dust themselves off and walk away. There’s a reality 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.”
If you were to think back to Infinity War’s marketing campaign, almost those exact same things were said by Kevin Feige and the Russo brothers as well. They said a major event at the start of the movie would establish that it would be unlike any MCU movie to date and that Thanos was indeed the threat he appeared to be. This ultimately ended up being the deaths of Heimdall and Loki, which alternatively, Marvel chose not to put in any trailers, mostly because it wasn’t necessary. It could’ve been hinted but saying who it actually is is a step beyond that. That said, there might be a reason why Fox and Kinberg chose to show such a reveal; it’s a marketing ploy.
Think about it, Dark Phoenix has been delayed more than once and since the FOX/Disney merge, they now have safety net. Regardless of the negativity FOX has used it to guide it somewhere useful. Showing Mystique’s death will be seen as it will nothing compared to the consequential scenes that will occur throughout the movie, or maybe it will just be more fuel for the disappointment fire.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix releases June 7th, 2019, and when it hits theaters, we will find out whether or not all the marketing really payed off.