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What’s going on with X-Men: Dark Phoenix?
Late Monday, 20th Century Fox pushed the release date for the latest installment of its banner X-Men series — which features a cavalcade of stars including Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy — from Nov. 2, 2018, to Feb. 14, 2019.
The mutant film will now undergo some reshoots as it heads toward a new opening date, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The movie was in postproduction, and insiders say it had come in slightly underbudget. But sources say that the third act will need some reworking, thus reshoots.
The extent of the new material isn’t known as Simon Kinberg, the X-Men franchise writer-producer who is making his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix, has yet to pen anything. But one insider expects the shoot to cost under $10 million and to take place in late summer/early fall.
This isn’t necessarily a bad sign for the feature. Some amount of reshoots — “additional photography” or “pick-ups” are other terms sometimes used — are slotted for most big-budget productions of this type.
One insider says Kinberg and the studio had been looking to move Dark Phoenix for some time as the Nov. 2 date had the movie going up against Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney’s own four-quadrant tentpole that hopes to play into the hands of the Christmas holiday crowd (and which hit some production snags of its own).
The new February date gives the movie its own opening, away from other studio tentpoles, and puts it on Presidents Days weekend, which with the success of Black Panther and Fox’s own Deadpool, has become one of the prime dates to launch a superhero movie.
Fox has been moving full steam ahead on its X-Men universe, continuing to develop projects such as a Kitty Pryde movie from comics scribe Brian Michael Bendis and Deadpool director Tim Miller, despite an uncertain future of the franchise as a pending merger with Disney looms. Next up for the X-Men on the big screen, Fox has Deadpool 2 out May 18. The studio also has the spinoff X-Force expected to start shooting in October.
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