Ever since the announcement was made that a deal had been reached for Disney to buy the bulk of Fox’s film and television assets, speculation has run rampant as to how that sale might affect Fox’s upcoming release slate, particularly as it relates to the ‘X-Men’ films. While this particular announcement is almost certainly not related to the Disney deal, Fox has nonetheless made some significant adjustments to their ‘X-Men’ slate. The announced changes reshape not only this year’s release schedule but 2019’s as well. Specifically, the films affected are ‘Deadpool 2‘, ‘The New Mutants‘, and ‘Gambit‘.
‘The New Mutants’, the first of a planned trilogy of horror-influenced ‘X-Men’ spinoffs has seen perhaps the biggest impact, as its release has been pushed back a full ten months. That moves the film’s release from April 13, 2018 to February 22, 2019. The Hollywood Reporter cites inside sources at Fox reporting that this delay is partially due to a desire on Fox’s part to avoid a situation in which ‘X-Men’ releases overlap in overseas markets. Still, with the announcement coming barely three months out from the planned release, it’s hard not to wonder if the studio has other concerns with the film (or, given the move from spring to winter, a crisis of confidence).
Of course, that brings us to the film with which Fox was concerned ‘The New Mutants’ might overlap in the first place: ‘Deadpool 2’. The much anticipated sequel to 2016’s surprise hit actually gets some good news here, as its release was pushed up a few weeks, from June 1 to May 18. This is clearly a strategic move, as the new release date puts ‘Deadpool 2’ in theaters a week before ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story‘. While both films will undoubtedly do well for themselves at the box office, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which a ‘Star Wars’ movie – particularly a ‘Star Wars’ movie that’s only in its second weekend – doesn’t take a massive bite out of literally any movie that has the misfortune of going up against it.
And then there’s ‘Gambit’. The Channing Tatum-lead spinoff has been in development hell for years, and recently lost yet another director (this time Gore Verbinski has vacated the chair). Officially – per those same insiders – the move is to position the film for a summer release, with the thought being that its nature as a heist film with a comedic tone makes it a better fit for that time of year. The release of ‘Gambit’ has been pushed from February 14, 2019 to June 7.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on these and other upcoming ‘X-Men’ movies as it becomes available.