Just hours after unveiling the first trailer for X-Men: Dark Phoenix last week, 20th Century Fox announced that it had pushed back the release of the next (and potentially final) instalment of the main X-Men franchise from February 2019 to June 2019.
The news perhaps shouldn’t have been too unexpected, given that the film – which was originally slated to arrive in November 2018 – is currently undergoing some pretty extensive reshoots, which were unable to be shot earlier in the year due to scheduling issues with the cast.
Now, speaking to Collider, director Simon Kinberg has spoken about said reshoots and how they’ll change the movie, as well as commenting upon the release date switch-up.
“Mostly we focused on the third act, both emotionally and in terms of the physical scale and the action of the third act that we adjusted,” said Kinberg with regards to the reshoots. “And then there were certain things in the first two acts of the movie—very few things, but to set up those changes in the third act we had to adjust some things in the first two acts so that that all was fluid and felt consistent.”
As for the new release delay, Kinberg went on to explain that the June date allows for more time to complete the visual effects, as well as presenting a bigger opportunity in terms of box office:
“It was a date, February 14th, that we initially liked for the movie but when we realized that we weren’t gonna have the visual effects ready to release it globally the way we wanted to, and the Gambit date opened up because it wasn’t gonna be ready for that June 7th date. We looked at that date versus the February 14th date, the studio did and we did, we felt like that June date was a bigger opportunity for us globally. More screens, more IMAX screens, a better chance to play in China where these movies have a massive following. What we found when we released the trailer was that 44, 45 million views of the trailer were in China alone… Specific for us, it is an opportunity to be a bigger movie day-and-date globally.”
In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite — not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix sees Simon Kinberg directing a cast that includes franchise veterans Michael Fassbender (Magneto), James McAvoy (Professor X), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), Evan Peters (Quicksilver) and Olivia Munn (Psylocke) alongside new additions Kota Eberhardt (The Persian Connection) as Selene, Andrew Stehlin (Hacksaw Ridge) as Red Lotus, and Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game) and Lamar Johnson (Kings). It is set for release on June 7th 2019.