The recent X-Men: Dark Phoenix trailer was a sign that things were starting to come together for the upcoming superhero flick. But as is often the case with this troubled production, it was one step forward and three steps back as it was shortly thereafter announced that the film’s release had been once again delayed, with the date pushed from February 14th next year to June 7th.
While you could take this as a bad omen, director Simon Kinberg views the delay as an opportunity to ensure that this X-Men sequel is up to the highest possible standard, while also increasing the movie’s chances in the China market. Speaking to Collider, the long-time X-Men writer and producer offered a whole list of reasons for pushing the release back to the date once held by Gambit.
“Some of the trailers had ‘Coming Soon’ on them and some of them said ‘February 14th,” Kinberg began. “It was a date, February 14th, that we initially liked for the movie but when we realized that we weren’t gonna have the visual effects ready to release it globally the way we wanted to, and the Gambit date opened up because it wasn’t gonna be ready for that June 7th date. We looked at that date versus the February 14th date, the studio did and we did, we felt like that June date was a bigger opportunity for us globally.
More screens, more IMAX screens, a better chance to play in China where these movies have a massive following. What we found when we released the trailer was that 44, 45 million views of the trailer were in China alone… Specific for us, it is an opportunity to be a bigger movie day-and-date globally.”
As the filmmaker mentions above, the trailer that came out shortly before the delay’s announcement was sporting the February date, and Kinberg has admitted that the team jumped the gun on that inclusion.
“In terms of the trailer release,” he continued, “it certainly probably shouldn’t have said 2/14 on it, but the audience – and certainly I know this because I live online as much as anybody – people wanted to see something from the movie, and it was time to share something from the movie. So I would’ve still released a teaser when we released it, I just would’ve put ‘Coming Soon’ on the end of it or I would’ve put ‘June 7th’, though we hadn’t made that decision [at the time].”
While the delay surely came as a disappointment to fans of the series, at least we can put those previous rumors behind us that the movie was in consideration to be scrapped completely. Still, with The New Mutants experiencing similar difficulties, you have to wonder if the quality of the X-Men franchise’s next two installments will suffer amidst all this confusion.
We can judge for ourselves when Dark Phoenix hits theaters on June 7th, 2019, assuming Fox stays on schedule this time.