As the longest running major comic book franchise, with X-Men having debuted in 2001, 20th Century Fox’s X-Men film series has been a major player in the rise in popularity that the genre has experienced, particularly over the last ten years. While the series has begun to mutate a little more in the last few years, with an abundance of prequels, sequels and spin-offs, such as the beloved Deadpool, making their way to the big screen, it’s still the main X-Men team films that remain the franchise’s bread and butter. X-Men: Apocalypse couldn’t quite live up to the highs of its predeccessor X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Fox’s upcoming follow-up X-Men: Dark Phoenix looks to return the ongoing mutant saga back to peak form. At the same time, the studio is looking to further branch out is X-family tree with another spin-off, The New Mutants, but recent reports have revealed that both films are having to have their release dates pushed back to 2019, despite scheduled debuts this year.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be picking up the First Class-rebooted storyline from where Apocalypse left off, with the younger versions of the iconic team, including Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, James McAvoy’s Professor x and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, continuing their various struggles in a world evermore hostile towards mutantkind through the decades (Dark Phoenix is set in the 1990s). New Mutants, on the other hand presents a new story for the franchise (being adapted from the comics) that sees five young mutants discovering their abilities for the first time while being held in a secret research facility from which they must escape.
While both films were recently delayed, with Dark Phoenix receiving a new February, 2019 release date, and New Mutants landing an August, 2019 date, it’s the latter of the two that is concerning fans the most. New Mutants had already been pushed back once before, from April this year to February, 2019, but with latest delay the movie is now scheduled to arrive a whole 16 months after its original date, ultimately being moved from April to the aforementioned newly announced August, 2019 date. ComicBook reports that Fox opted to put Dark Phoenix back into production following a recent test screening and is having to work the reshoots around Jean Grey actress Sophie Turner’s Game of Thrones schedule. With New Mutants, the article confirms current speculation that extensive reshoots will be carried out in order to make the film scarier and to add “a few new characters”.
For those in the know, the New Mutants rescheduling news is pretty concerning given the fact that the film was actually supposed to open in two weeks time, on April 13th, a pushback to late next summer indicates that the studio is really not happy with the movie in its current form, and adding new characters is a big change which perhaps signals that Fox wants to take New Mutants in a slightly different direction. The question is, why is this only being realised now?
More on both Dark Phoenix and New Mutants as it unfolds.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix arrives February, 2019
New Mutants is scheduled for August, 2019