The worst-kept secret going into Dark Phoenix is that Mystique will die, with the trailers revealing that Jennifer Lawrence’s shapeshifting mutant will be killed by Jean Grey when she loses control of her growing powers. To be fair, dropping this so soon wasn’t a marketing slip-up but a conscious decision to tease fans of the, well, dark times to come.
Plus, it seems that Mystique’s demise was heralded so early on because there’s even bigger shocks waiting for us in the movie. Director Simon Kinberg spoke to EW and teased that the death of Raven Darkholme is not the only fatality that fans can expect to witness. “There are certainly other major casualties in this,” the filmmaker said.
As to who else might not make it out of this interpretation of the Dark Phoenix saga alive, all bets are off as this is set to be the final installment in the Fox X-Men franchise. In terms of corporate reasons, that’s because Disney just bought out the studio. However, Kinberg’s also confirmed that he made the film with the intention of it rounding out the current series that began in 2011’s X-Men: First Class.
Elsewhere, Kinberg has promised that Dark Phoenix will be a much more “intense” and “raw” entry in the franchise than we’ve ever seen before in the mainline movies, with the director even comparing it to Logan and The Dark Knight. That should do something to lift fans’ spirits after box office predictions suggest it’ll earn the weakest opening weekend of any X-Men film.
The last time Fox adapted the saga in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, there was also a long list of deaths, including Cyclops, Professor X and Jean herself. But who else could Dark Phoenix wipe out to raise the stakes alongside Mystique? We’ll find out when the Phoenix rises on June 7th.