A new Dark Phoenix clip features Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X (James McAvoy) arguing about the handling of the X-Men. Marking Simon Kinberg‘s directorial debut after years of producing films in the franchise, the writer/director has his work cut for him with the movie tipped to wrap up the mutant saga that started all the way in 2000.
Based on Chris Claremont’s iconic The Dark Phoenix saga, the narrative will put the spotlight on Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey as she fully transformed into the Dark Phoenix teased at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse.
Jean is the heart of the conflict in the Dark Phoenix, but it will also heavily involve the rest of the X-Men, particularly its core members: Professor X, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, Mystique, and Nicholas Hoult’s Beast. As given away by the trailers, the mutants will once again be split in the middle as they disagree on how to handle Jean’s slow turn to the dark side.
But even before that issue blows up, there’s already a brewing tension between Charles and Raven with regard to how the world treats mutants because of their extraordinary abilities.
Related: Why The X-Men: Dark Phoenix Review Embargo Is Lifting So Late
In the latest promo clip for Dark Phoenix shared on Twitter by Apple TV, the X-Men come home from their space mission that’s prominently featured in previous trailers. As Charles greets everyone and tells his team that the “President sends his regards,” both Jean (who’s already exposed to the Phoenix force) and Raven give him the eye, but only the latter laid out what’s in her mind, albeit privately.
Mystique questions Professor X’s motives for continuously endangering the lives of their own people to save humans. Charles replies that it’s a small price to pay for peace, but she doesn’t believe him. Instead, she calls him out on his self-serving motive, concluding that it’s all about his ego.
Mystique reminds Charles that it’s been a long time since he’s actually the one out there saving lives. Before she walks away she dropped a stinger saying that since the women are always saving the men in the X-Men, so he might want to consider changing their name to X-Women.
Mystique will only be in a sizeable chunk of the film with the confirmation that Jean accidentally kills her as the X-Men try to appease the troubled mutant. This sets off the high stakes drama of Dark Phoenix with Charles not losing hope that his protege can be saved, while Magneto decides that she’s too dangerous to the world. Given this, it’s nice to see Lawrence flex her acting muscles as highlighted in the aforementioned clip. The actress has been accused of only cashing in on her role in the Marvel franchise, but this particular bit effectively debunks that.
Considering that this is the final film from the X-Men main saga before the franchise gets rebooted and integrated to the MCU, it’s easy to overlook Dark Phoenix. Admittedly, knowing its production woes aren’t exactly good for marketing, not to mention the idea that it could just be a rehash of the disappointing X-Men: The Last Stand. It’s also tainted by the failure of Apocalypse after two successful entries in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. But regardless of what story issues it may have, the performance from this cast is solid – at least with regard to what’s revealed in marketing. Cool as it may be to finally see these characters rub elbows with the Avengers, it’s a shame that these actors won’t be able to continue playing their respective roles because most of them have been great in them.