'Dark Phoenix' Pushed Back to June 2019, Untitled 'Deadpool' Opening in December

Fox also delayed 'Alita: Battle Angel' and 'Gambit.'

20th Century Fox is making a few key changes to its release calendar, including pushing back Alita: Battle Angel and Dark Phoenix, while adding an untitled Deadpool movie to its 2018 slate.

The untitled Deadpool pic will open in wide release on Dec. 21. Meanwhile, Robert Rodriguez's Alita will move from Dec. 21 to Feb. 14, 2019. Dark Phoenix, the next X-Men installment, has been shifted from Feb. 14 to June 7, 2019. Fox has also moved back its long-in-development (and director-less) X-Men spinoff, Gambit, from June 7, 2019, to March 13, 2020.

There is speculation that the untitled Deadpool film could be a kid-friendly rerelease of the R-rated property — perhaps this year's Deadpool 2. Star Ryan Reynolds sparked those rumors with an image calling back to The Princess Bride, featuring Fred Savage reprising his role from the 1987 film as a boy whose grandfather reads him a book while he's sick. Though, given how labor-intensive and expensive creating an alternate cut of a movie is, perhaps the Deadpool release will just be Deadpool 2 with added footage of Deadpool reading to Savage. The untitled Deadpool opens on a crowded day for blockbusters and will go up against Warner Bros.' Aquaman and Paramount's Bumblebee.

The release date changes come as the pending Disney/Fox merger is expected to close in 2019 (which will give Disney's Marvel Studios the rights to the X-Men). The merger calls into question the likelihood of a Channing Tatum-led Gambit movie, which has had trouble getting off the ground, actually surviving the move to Disney. Fox also has the X-Men spinoff New Mutants set to bow Aug. 2, 2019; that horror-tinged film has been delayed in the past as well, despite having already being shot. It was originally supposed to open April 13 of this year.

The news of Dark Phoenix's shift comes just days after the first trailer for the film bowed, touting its old February release date. Dark Phoenix had already been delayed and underwent reshoots before this new shift. It was originally scheduled to open in November of this year.