No one really likes X-Men: The Last Stand—if you do, I don’t believe you. The screenwriter of that film, longtime X-Men film producer Simon Kinberg, is trying that story again in his directorial debut, the Apocalypse follow-up simply titled Dark Phoenix. The first trailer debuted during Wednesday night’s episode of The Late Late Show, and it shows all of your favorite young mutants returning.
Those familiar with the comics lore (or even The Last Stand and Apocalypse) know that Jean Grey (here played by Sophie Turner) struggles to control the powerful entity known as the Phoenix Force, which the conflict of Dark Phoenix centers around. Along with the usual Charles/Professor X (James McAvoy), Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Hank/Beast (Nicolas Hoult), and Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious alien portrayed by Jessica Chastain acts as one of the many players fighting to control Jean Grey and her enhanced power.
It’s great to see Turner and some of the newer faces from Apocalypse (Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, for example) take leading roles, especially since the subplot with those younger characters was one of the few things I enjoyed about the last movie. But to be fairly honest, after Logan blew me away, I lack any desire to continue on with the saga started with First Class. With Marvel Studios likely taking control of the franchise soon, the venture seems almost pointless.
Not to mention, the constant delays and lack of information about the film from 20th Century Fox haven’t helped to convince that this movie will work. And with the trailer implying that the Phoenix Force will lead to catastrophe, it feels like this new film is just running the same motions, even though the casts for these films are always strong. But hey, that’s just cynical old me—I’d love to get back to the glory days of X2.
We’ll see if Dark Phoenix makes me eat my words when it releases on February 14, 2019, because nothing says Valentine’s Day romance like a cosmic force threatening to murder everyone. Check out our thoughts on the full poster here.