It looks like there’s a little more to the delayed release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix than riding out the calendar for a straight shot at big box office returns. When the next chapter in Marvel’s mutant series finally opens next Valentine’s Day, it’ll cost a little more than Fox originally had projected — but we’re hoping the result will be plenty of fan love.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dark Phoenix will undergo significant reshoots to shore up its ending, although it’s not known whether the movie’s being hauled in to fix a hot mess of a finale or simply improve on an already-solid project.
The cast is reportedly set to head back for the extra studio time in late summer and early fall, but there’s no word on whether the script will need to undergo major plot tweaks or not. Writer-producer and first-time X-Men director Simon Kinberg, says the report, “has yet to pen anything.”
Kinberg evidently wants his film version to stay more or less true to the comic book saga on which it’s based, so there’s reason to think the reshoots may be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary.
The fact the film has come in a reported $10 million under budget, plus the busy acting schedules of its roster of A-list stars, also has us optimistic that it’s more a matter of enrichment rather than renovation. “This isn't necessarily a bad sign for the feature,” THR observes. “Some amount of reshoots — ‘additional photography’ or ‘pick-ups’ are other terms sometimes used — are slotted for most big-budget productions of this type.”
We already knew X-Men: Dark Phoenix and its long-awaited horror-tinged sibling, The New Mutants, were being pushed back for release dates months beyond their original targets. Slated for a February 2019 release after already being postponed once, The New Mutants has again been bumped, this time to August 2019 on a studio-ordered retooling; one that could alter up to 50 percent of the material that director Josh Boone initially had handed in.
For its part, Dark Phoenix was on track for a November 2018 release until Fox green-lit a reworking of the film’s final third. The cast is pretty stacked with big names: Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Tye Sheridan — to name a few — so calling the necessary stars back for a reshoot isn't exactly a logistical walk in the park.
We’re beyond ready for Kinberg’s directorial take on the X-Men, so we’re seriously hoping Fox is able to stick by its new release date. X-Men: Dark Phoenix is scheduled to hit theaters on February 14, 2019.