The comic book movie community has been talking about little else these last few days than the rumors that Fox is on the verge of cancelling their two upcoming X-Men films: The New Mutants and Dark Phoenix. The source – an anonymous poster on the SuperHeroHype forums – claims that both productions are spiraling into disaster and that the studio’s looking to cut their losses and just cancel the movies. Their decision to do this will no doubt be made a little easier by the almost certitude of Disney acquiring 21st Century Fox and with it the X-Men IP.
On the surface, it feels plausible, especially so for The New Mutants given that it has a relatively small budget and sounds like it’s going to be a bit pear-shaped. But with Dark Phoenix? That’s a mega budget blockbuster that’s finished principal photography, is about to undergo reshoots and you can guarantee there are CG artists currently beavering away at the best mutant-inspired fire effects that money can buy.
Then there’s the simple, logical fact that it seems very unlikely that Fox would cancel a movie they’ve just ordered to go back for reshoots. After all, we’re hearing now that the production is still setting up for those reshoots in Montreal and everything remains scheduled for August and September, with sets currently being constructed for the additional scenes. It makes you wonder, why would they go to such expense and trouble only to then cancel it at the last minute?
It’s not that it would be unheard of for a studio to axe a movie midway through production, of course, but I think it would be unheard of to put a film of this scale in the bin this late in the process. I suppose the proof will be in the pudding though next Valentine’s Day, when X-Men: Dark Phoenix will (probably) hit cinemas. Given that Disney will already be planning how they’re going to reinvent the mutants for the MCU at that stage, let’s just hope they manage to wrap up all their plotlines in one go.