10:33am PT by Pamela McClintock
'Kingsman' Prequel Moves to Next February, Ryan Reynolds' 'Free Guy' Lands Summer 2020 Release
Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman untitled prequel will now hit theaters Valentine's Day 2020, instead of this November.
Now, 20th Century Fox will use the Nov. 15 slot for James Mangold's Ford v. Ferrari movie, which had been set to open June 28, 2019. The new date puts the untitled film, starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon, in the heart of awards season.
In a third high-profile move, Fox has set director Shawn Levy's action-comedy Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, for a July 3, 2020, release — the eve of the lucrative July Fourth corridor.
The changes come on the eve of the Disney-21st Century Fox merger.
Vaughn's Kingsman series is among the key film franchises that Disney will take over. The Kingsman prequel stars a different crew than the first two films, Kingsman: The Secret Service — which also opened over Valentine's Day weekend — and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, although the logline is being kept under wraps. The cast of the prequel includes Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode and Harris Dickinson.
Vaughn has indicated that he'll next turn his attention to a proper sequel to The Golden Circle.
Mangold's Ford v. Ferrari film centers on the team of American engineers and designers hired by Henry Ford II in his quest to beat Ferrari as the top maker of race cars. Damon will play Carroll Shelby, the eccentric engineer who designs from scratch the Ford GT 40, while Bale will portray Ken Miles, the hotshot British racer who drives it in the 1966 Le Mans race.
Free Guy revolves around a background character who realizes he’s living in a video game. With the help of an avatar, he tries to prevent the makers of the game from shutting down his world.
Reynolds and Levy will also produce, joining Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter as well as Adam Kolbrenner. Reynolds will produce via his Maximum Effort label, while Levy will produce via 21 Laps.
It's not yet clear when Disney will assume responsibility for distributing and marketing Fox titles.