Usually, when a trailer outright spoils the death of a main character or the change of direction of an established hero (as with Terminator: the trailers of Genisys revealed that John Connor was in fact a Terminator ), you have to ask yourself if they lost their minds completely.
This is surely the kind of magical story that the public deserves to keep secret? After all, there is a motto to draw, which means that the biggest tent throws like Avengers: Endgame are locked to an unprecedented degree. Studios do not usually want us to know. Fans do not usually want to know. Challenging that, it's like turning the world around.
Still, that's exactly what the second X-Men trailer: Dark Phoenix did. Months after the publication of the first publication and with whispers of publication delays (or a total cancellation in some cases), the teaser went down and the send-off was given with the revelation that Mystic is being killed.
So why did they do it? Simon Kinberg has the answer when he told EW:
"Well, the thinking process behind it was mainly to show that it's a movie that's different from other X-Men movies." It's a movie where shocking things happen, where intense things happen and Dramatic happen, people do not fall just buildings and there is a reality in this film and a consequence of this film.Even more importantly, it was to show that Jean / Dark Phoenix is truly a threat to everything the world, including the X-Men. "
If you think back to the Infinity War marketing campaign, almost those things have been said. Kevin Feige and the Russos said that there had been a major event at the very beginning of the film that showed that this film did not resemble any MCU film to date and that Thanos was indeed the threat that he seemed to be. In the end, it's the death of Heimdall and Loki, whom Marvel has chosen not to bring to the fore in their marketing.
Why? Because it's not necessary You can hint at something – you can even say that it's the death of a main character – but say WHAT that's a step beyond- of the. And there's a reason Fox and Kinberg chose to do it. It's a marketing ploy.
Think about it: Dark Phoenix has been plagued by trust issues for months. It has been moved several times out of its niche publication and, with the impending agreement between Disney and Fox, it is widely considered a difficult release (and the New Mutants of course).
It's also a free kick for Fox, since the contract with Disney is now their safety net. This movie probably deals more than anything with damage control in the budget at this stage. Some drastic marketing techniques were therefore necessary. It was not enough to pretend that it was only another X-Men movie, and that's precisely why Kinberg is talking about difference.
To be honest, in the face of a relatively significant negativity wave – which was not reduced by the quality of this second trailer – Fox decided to take control of the conversation and guide it somewhere. The reason they eliminated Mystic in marketing is that it is a commercial asset: it's something interesting in a film that is otherwise irrelevant (in terms of audience expectations) that they can use weapons to bring in fans.
By making believe that Mystic's death is so insignificant that it can be shown in marketing, Fox has rather cleverly suggested that there are other things in the film that make it look like nothing. In the same interview, Kinberg mentions other "major victims" and seems to be creating a civil war-style film in which the X-Men are separating based on how they want to treat Jean – what about him? behave to reform or kill it – presumably with Beast one side and Cyclops on the other.
By minimizing an element of history, they not only added intrigue – because we do not know HOW she kills it – but they also made everything else more interesting. And when the spoiler has already leaked a lot of ink, it's a bold and smart decision, far better than the approach adopted by Paramount to market Star Trek Into Darkness, while we all knew that Benedict Cumberbatch was Khan no matter how much they insisted.
This is a lossless situation for Fox. Kinberg admits that he has no idea if Marvel will keep the cast (this will not be the case) and no one expects anything from the movie. So, why not roll the dice and market it in a totally different way? It's like going into a fight and start breaking all your fingers and yelling, "If I'm doing this for myself, imagine what I'm going to do to you!"
Hey, if it works, it works. But it's a bold strategy, Cotton, and we'll have to wait to see if it's paying off.