CBMB: Fox Shifts X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants to New Release Dates in 2019 | FanboysInc

CBMB: Fox Shifts X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants to New Release Dates in 2019

By Muuka Muyumba

At one point, we were slated to have three ‘X’ films coming out in 2018, but then, Fox sold to Disney and now we will have to wait until 2019 to see two of those films. Fox has shifted the release dates on several of its upcoming slate of films, including X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which moves from November 2, 2018 to February 14, 2019, and The New Mutants which moves from February 22, 2019 to August 2, 2019.

Now, if you are scratching your head like me, then you will also remember that The New Mutants was slated for release in just a couple of weeks from today in April of 2018. Principal photography had begun in July of 2017 with director Josh Boone who announced that the film had wrapped in September 2017. Originally, the film would introduce a new group of mutants who had been committed to a mental health facility and were being haunted by the notorious X-Men monster Demon Bear. The film was going to be Fox’s spin on a horror-themed superhero movie starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Majik, Charlie Heaton as Cannonball, Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane, Henry Zaga as Sunspot, Blu Hunt as Mirage, and Alice Braga as Dr. Cecilia Reyes.

NEW MUTANTS Reshoots to Add a New Character to the Film

A trailer for the film debuted in late 2017 teasing the mental thriller, but soon after that, in January of 2018, Fox announced that it would be moving The New Mutants all the way to 2019 to make it ‘scarier‘, and reportedly to add whole other character. Some suggested that the move was also prompted by it being so close to the release date of Deadpool 2, which itself has moved a few times from its original May 2018 date.

The one film that seem to remain unspoiled by all these moves was X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which would be writer/director Simon Kinberg’s second stab at the Dark Phoenix saga. The film had been rumored to be testing well and had been called one of the best X-Men films by some who have already seen it. However, now the reports are that Dark Phoenix is getting pushed to 2019.

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Dark Phoenix was filming at virtually the same times as The New Mutants, having begun principal photography on June 28, 2017, and wrapping on October 14, 2017. In December 2017, Kinberg revealed that the film would be in post-production for almost a year to assure the film the proper look visually.

Just who is pulling the strings on these changes is still unclear after Disney’s acquisition of Fox in December 2017. Disney CEO Bob Iger made it fairly clear that the acquisition would mean the X-Men would be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that would only come after the deal was ratified which would take up to 18 months. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been less open about this process, acknowledging that he hasn’t put much thought into the deal.

However, an outside observer would have to wonder whether Disney is putting a thumb on the scale to get Fox’s ‘ducks in a row’ to set up a plan for integration. Fox’s shifting slate does not appear to be in deference to other MCU projects considering that Marvel will not release another film, after July’s Ant-Man and The Wasp, until March 2019 with Captain Marvel.

So, if this isn’t about a potential conflict then could it be about Fox wanting to make sure that its quality is up to the standard of a Black Panther? Fox was in the business of mainstreaming Marvel characters well before the MCU, but has failed to strike financial and critical gold (on the same level of the MCU) with any of their films beyond LoganĀ and Deadpool. Recent reports have also suggested that Fox continues to work undaunted in the face of impending envelopment, and may just be stretching their legs by shifting these films. In other words, putting the onus on Disney to call the shot just so the Fox executives know where they and the talent stands.

Right now, Fox has announced or is planning titles including X-Force, Doctor Doom, The Silver Surfer, Kitty Pryde, X-23, Gambit, and more X-Men films. “They have to proceed as business as usual in case the merger doesn’t go through,” says one agent whose clients work on Fox’s Marvel movies. “It’s a unique position to be in.”