For a time, it looked like 2018 would be a banner year for Fox’s X-verse. Deadpool 2, The New Mutants and X-Men: Dark Phoenix were all scheduled to deliver some mutant goodness this year. Now, only Deadpool 2 remains. The biggest of the three (in scope anyway) is X-Men: Dark Phoenix. The cinematic do-over of one of the X-Men’s most iconic comic book arcs has been pushed until early next year, now slated in the prime February frame that Black Panther enjoyed. The reasoning for the delay seems to be that the film will need to undergo reshoots, which will reportedly cost a little under $10 million.
As to what the reshoots will entail, it seems that the third act of Simon Kinberg’s directorial debut needs some reworking, and that necessitated the additional photography. Simon Kinberg, who is also writing X-Men: Dark Phoenix, hasn’t written any of the new material yet, but the reshoots are still expected to come under that $10 million mark. The movie, which was already in post-production, was coming in slightly under budget according to The Hollywood Reporter. The reshoots are expected to take place in late summer/early fall, giving the film plenty of time to meet its February release date. The cost of $10 million isn’t chump change, but this definitely doesn’t sound like a case of a budget spiraling out of control.
Dark Phoenix was previously slated to do battle at the box office this November with Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and apparently Simon Kinberg and Fox had been looking to avoid that. The delay now puts the film in a less competitive slot. While reshoots are often met with consternation, they are not always cause for alarm. Reshoots are built-in to the budgets of blockbuster films, and the fact that Dark Phoenix has come in under budget to this point and we haven’t heard anything troubling is encouraging. It is also possible that the late summer timeframe for the reshoots is due to the in-demand nature of the film’s stars, including Game of Thrones’s Sophie Turner.
The fact that we won’t get to see Dark Phoenix this year is a bummer. However, viewed through the lens of history, we know how a Phoenix movie can go astray. If three months is the difference between a bad or average Phoenix Saga adaptation, and one that comes even close to the beloved comic arc, I’m happy to wait. Regardless of the impending Disney/Fox deal, Fox has been emboldened by the success of Deadpool and Logan and is continuing to push its X-verse forward with new, exciting and unique films. Hopefully X-Men: Dark Phoenix can continue Fox’s hot streak and $10 million will be money well spent.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix hits theaters on Valentine’s Day, 2019. Check out our guide to see all of the upcoming X-Men movies.