Following months of speculation, and hand-wringing, the first trailer for the X-Men: Apocalypse sequel Dark Phoenix will arrive tonight, offering the first real look at the long-awaited adaptation of the seminal Marvel Comics storyline "The Dark Phoenix Saga."
It's so "long-awaited" for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that Fox moved director Simon Kinberg's film from its original release date of Nov. 2, 2018, to Feb. 14, 2019, a delay that led to (debunked) rumors of sweeping reshoots and even removal from the studio's schedule. But the sequel also represents a duo for franchise veteran Kinberg, and for audiences, following the widely criticized X-Men: The Last Stand, which wedged elements of the cosmic "Dark Phoenix Saga" into a grounded subplot that didn't satisfy anyone.
"I think of maybe a few mistakes we made in that movie — and every movie has mistakes — but the main mistake we made in that movie was taking the Dark Phoenix story, which is such a vast and profound saga, and making it the subplot of the movie as opposed to the main plot of the movie," Kinberg conceded in March 2017, before Fox had even confirmed the film is titled Dark Phoenix. "I think if we were to make a Dark Phoenix movie in the future, it would be a Dark Phoenix movie about her struggle, and really should be the A plot and the primary of the movie.”
The teaser trailer will be the first real indication to X-Men fans whether Kinberg & Co. got the beloved comics arc right on the second attempt. But when should we expect it to arrive?
We know Jean Grey actress Sophie Turner will introduce the trailer debut her appearance on CBS's The Late Late Show with James Corden, which airs at 12:37 a.m. ET/PT. But let's try to narrow that down a little; after all, it's an hour-long show. It's unlikely Fox will want to push the premiere too late, and risk losing more of those viewers in the Eastern United States who have to wake up early for work or school. So we can expect the Dark Phoenix trailer to arrive within the first half-hour, probably by 1 a.m. ET/10 p.m. PT. If it doesn't debut simultaneously online, it will shortly thereafter.
The official release of the first Dark Phoenix trailer arrives on the heels of a leak of footage from what's presumed to be a recent Fox product presentation in Saint Petersburg, Russia. That was a shaky recording of what appeared to be an early, unfinished trailer -- there were no titles or studio fanfare -- so we'll have to scrutinize the footage to determine what, if any, changes were made.
Written and directed by Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Jessica Chastain. The film opens Feb. 14, 2019.