20th Century Fox has pushed X-Men: Dark Phoenix out of 2018 and delayed New Mutants another six months, after already pushing it back ten months.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix, originally slated for November 2, 2018, moves to February 14, 2019. New Mutants, originally slated for April 13, 2018 before moving to February 22, 2019, moves again. It’s been pushed all the way back to August 2, 2019.
The news comes from The Tracking Board Editor-in-Chief Jeff Sneider, who tweeted an email from 20th Century Fox regarding release date changes for the studio’s slate.
No reasons have been given for the three-month delay of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. The reason for the first delay of New Mutants was said to be the studio’s desire to pump up the horror vibe in the film and add a new character in reshoots scheduled for this summer. We do not know why it has been delayed another six months.
Inexplicable delays to Fox-owned Marvel films are sure to raise eyebrows. I already speculated the first delay of New Mutants could have been related to the Disney-Fox deal. At this point, I can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever even see New Mutants. If we do, I’m certain it will be built and played as a one-off, or maybe an extended pilot for a possible non-MCU Marvel Television series like The Gifted or Legion.
Disney’s proposed purchase of most of 21st Century Fox, including the movie studio and its Marvel licenses, is currently undergoing going regulatory review. The deal could close anywhere between late this year and the middle of 2019.
Once the deal is finalized, all of the Marvel characters to which Fox holds exclusive movie rights will fall under the purview of Disney-owned Marvel Studios. The X-Men, Fantastic Four, and all other related franchises (like New Mutants and Deadpool) can then be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When that happens, we are almost certainly going to see all of the characters within those franchises (except Deadpool and probably a few of his pals) rebooted and given a clean slate going into their new cinematic home.
Continuity has never been much of a priority at Fox, so it’s a mess in the X-Men franchise. There isn’t much worth saving and there could be even less so with the way things are shaping up.
The new release dates for X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants mean that even if those films are successful, there will be little or no time for sequels to be executed before Disney takes over. Disney may already be in charge before Dark Phoenix drops on February 14 next year.
For all we know, both of these films might never see the light of day. Dark Phoenix has much better odds of hitting theaters than New Mutants, but neither film has any guarantees at this point.
These movies started to look like lame ducks as soon as the Disney-Fox deal was announced last December. We can see that same picture, only much more clearly, today.