The X-Men franchise is about to take its second shot at adapting the Dark Phoenix story for the big screen. However, exactly how this version was going to change things up, beyond using the new younger cast, wasn’t entirely clear. Now, we know exactly what’s going to happen to Jean Grey thanks to some footage shown over the weekend at New York Comic-Con.
According to the footage that was revealed to those in attendance, the action starts with the launch of the space shuttle Endeavor in 1992. Mission Control notices some sort of anomaly before losing contact with the shuttle. Luckily, the X-Men are watching the launch on television and spring into action. Professor X asks Beast if the newly designed X-Jet is capable of flying through space. Beast tries to talk him out of it, but then the President calls Xavier and the rescue mission springs into action.
The X-Men are apparently known superheroes now, complete with merchandise, and now the world is watching the attempted rescue mission. The rescue team consists of Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Storm, Beast, Quicksilver, Jean, and Mystique. When the jet catches up with the shuttle they find it spinning out of control with some sort gold cloud closing in on it. Cyclops is able to slow the spinning of the shuttle by knocking out one engine by using a device that allows him to use his ability to fire a blast from the ship. Nightcrawler and Quicksilver teleport over to the ship to collect the crew while Storm uses her ability to hold the ship together.
Unfortunately, they’ve left the commander of the ship behind and while Mystique wants to turn around, Xavier says Jean can hold the ship together long enough to find him. However, Jean says she must be inside the ship to do it. Nightcrawler teleports her over and he rescues the commander but has to teleport away before he can reach Jean. The golden cloud encompasses the ship with Jean inside as the rest of the X-Men look on.
The cloud dissipates and the X-Men retrieve Jean’s body and while they initially believe she is dead, she comes to and seems no worse for wear.
Shortly thereafter the NYCC footage (via Polygon) wrapped up, so we don’t see exactly how this cloud has changed Jean, but whatever the Phoenix is in this version of the story, was inside that cloud. The sequence does confirm that it is an alien force, which is how the original comic book story arc handled it. Rather than simply being something naturally inside Jean Grey, which is how it’s been done in some previous adaptations.
Comic book fans will likely be glad to see this aspect of the original storyline is remaining intact. It hardly means by itself that everything about Dark Phoenix will be perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. While we were looking forward to seeing the film early next year, a last minute delay has pushed Dark Phoenix back to June of 2019 so we’ll have to wait until the summer to see how the story unfolds from here.