It’s that time again, Nerds of Color! Con-Season is upon us! And on the first day of WonderCon, Fox gave unto us an awesome Dark Phoenix panel with Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), and writer/director Simon Kinberg.
Those lucky few X-Cited X-Men fans were treated to an exclusive sneak peek of the film in the form of two very exciting scenes: an epic space rescue, and a classic X-Men vs. Magneto battle.
In the first scene, we see the X-Jet rise out of the basketball court. Strapped inside are Mystique, Beast, Quicksilver, Jean, Cyclops, Storm, and Nightcrawler. Their mission is to fly off into space and save a space shuttle carrying a group of astronauts from an impending solar flair disaster.
What unfolds is a really cool sequence, where Mystique, acting as the team leader, is pushing each member of the team to use their powers to perform specific tasks. Cyclops has to blast a malfunctioning thruster on the space shuttle. Storm has to patch up holes in the shuttle with frost. Nightcrawler and Quicksilver teleport in and out with the survivors in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, the astronaut team is missing a crew member, and Professor X (monitoring the team via Cerebro) commands them to risk their lives to save the one member, though Mystique adamantly protests. So Nightcrawler has to teleport back into the unstable craft with Jean, while she holds the craft together telekinetically. Nightcrawler is able to teleport the final crew member safely into the X-Jet but not before Jean gets caught in a solar flair explosion. The entire team is concerned and freaked out that Jean could be dead, but surprisingly she absorbs all of the solar energy (which I believe is the Phoenix Force possessing her) and passes out. Nightcrawler then BAMFs out into space to grab her and bring her back into the X-Jet. She wakes up and asks if everyone’s okay. Then the X-Men return to earth, where, surprisingly, a whole group of homo sapien fans are waiting for them and cheering.
This is the first time we’ve ever seen a response to mutants this overwhelmingly positive in the franchise. They arrive back at the Institute. Professor X and a bunch of students start cheering them on. He asks if Jean is okay, and has Beast take her for a medical exam. Mystique and Professor X go into his office where they argue about the stupid risk Professor X made Jean take, and she accuses him of being reckless and loving the new celebrity-status of the X-Men. Professor X admits it’s better than being feared and hated. Then Mystique says the women are constantly saving the men, and he should consider changing the name of the team to X-Women.
The second clip shown had a full on battle between Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Beast, who want to kill Jean after she kills Mystique, and Professor X, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Storm, who are trying to stop them. A lot of mayhem ensues on the streets of New York. Meanwhile inside the building both parties are trying to get into, Jean is being manipulated by Jessica Chastain’s character to destroy everyone. Magneto ends the fight between himself and the rest of the X-Men by ripping a subway train from underground and ramming it through the entrance of the building where Jean is, trapping anyone else from entering the building but him.
While inside, he confronts Jean, rips off a metal staircase, and threatens to stab Jean through the head with it, before deciding to stop. Jean, in a sinister fashion, mocks him for not being able to do it, and tells him that’s the difference between him and her. Then she starts telekinetically crushing the helmet on Magneto’s head while he screams in agony, before the scene cuts to black.
The first footage was epic X-Men action. Showcasing some of the best team work the group has seen in this franchise. The second was classic X-Men vs. Brotherhood conflict, building up to a really dark and ominous tone in this film, versus the rest of the installments.
Following the panel, fans got to take home a cool WonderCon-exclusive poster showcasing some gorgeous artwork, which you can view below!
It’s a damn good time to be an X-Fan! Dark Phoenix hits theaters June 7!