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The new X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer kills off a major character

Jean Grey is on the warpath – and the film’s director reveals why he made the “hard decision”

Published: Thursday, 28th February 2019 at 9:01 pm

In the next X-Men movie, Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey is going DARK – and a new trailer shows just how deadly Dark Phoenix is going to be.


You see, in an unusual move the second trailer for upcoming superhero movie Dark Phoenix actually unveils one of its biggest twists in the opening footage, revealing the shocking death of a central character from the franchise.

We can’t believe we’re saying this for a trailer, but if you do want to go into Dark Phoenix completely unspoilt, look away now…

Still here? OK then. In the trailer, we see Jean possessed by the cosmic Phoenix Force, a powerful alien being that begins to take over her mind and telekinetic abilities (spurred on by Jessica Chastain’s mysterious character, an alien who can produce illusions).

As the Phoenix Force consumes her we see Jean fighting off the X-Men, lifting a moving train, crushing Magneto’s (Michael Fassbender) head within his helmet and calmly walking through a hail of bullets – but all those sequences pale to one earlier in the new footage, where Jean kills longtime character Mystique, as played by Jennifer Lawrence since 2011.

The removal of one of the franchise’s biggest stars, revealed in the marketing campaign for a movie that’s not out until the summer, might seem like an odd move – but according to director Simon Kinberg it was always part of his plan.

“The thought process behind that was to primarily show that this is a movie that is unlike other X-Men movies,” Kinberg told EW.

“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.

“I had a lot of emotions about it,” he added.

“I was obviously sad about it, as Jen’s friend, and also as a fan of Jen as an actress. But I felt it was the strongest, most dramatic thing for the movie, and sometimes you have to make those kinds of hard decisions to service the larger story.

“And the larger story really is Jean cracking up, losing control because she’s more powerful than anyone else in the world. To dramatise that properly, you have to show real loss, you have to show real pain and show real threat and menace. I didn’t want to do that by her blowing up a building with anonymous people in it. It had to feel really personal for the X-Men, and I wanted it to be something that would fracture the X-Men as well.

“Mystique is someone who in our universe has been part of the X-Men and has been part of Magneto’s world. Her death impacts literally everybody.”

Clearly the X-Men are getting serious this time, with Kinberg also teasing “other major casualties” in the film. Who’d have thought Game of Thrones would only be the second-deadliest project for Sophie Turner this year?


Dark Phoenix is released on the 8th June. Looking for something to watch? X-Men movies in order or check out our TV Guide.


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