ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!"
Ricky Derisz

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Movie studios are businesses like any other, responsible for factoring in both customer satisfaction (see: audience enjoyment) and financial reward. Fox are such a business, tasked with some difficult decisions over the coming years; do they stick, or twist? Do they rely on the bankability of the X-Men, or take an all-new approach?

The consequence of those decisions has been reflected by a light reshuffle — along with some additions — to the studios upcoming releases of superhero movies. Based on the properties they own, an announcement confirmed news of two new entries to the on November 2, 2018 and February 14, 2019. Furthermore, a slot for October 6, 2017, has been pulled completely.

The X-Men may be cast aside in upcoming movies [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
The X-Men may be cast aside in upcoming movies [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

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Putting franchise names to those dates starts to paint a picture, although admittedly, when it comes to Fox and scheduled dates, those pictures are more Picasso, less da Vinci. The removed release will likely be down to production problems with the solo Gambit movie. Despite Channing Tatum's continued attachment, the project has failed to get going, stalling completely after the film's second director, Doug Liman, quit in August.

The additions are more interesting. The announcement that Fox has already begun planning Deadpool 3, combined with a host of the A-list cast coming to the end of their contracts, suggests that the studio chose to twist, selecting an all-new approach of the X-Force with Wade Wilson at its center. These dates seem to confirm that.

Are The X-Men Being X-Cluded?

Fox currently have five different slots, with only one confirmed release date in the form of Wolverine's last hurrah, Logan. The dates are as follows:

  • March 3, 2017 (Logan)
  • March 2, 2018
  • June 29, 2018
  • November 2, 2018
  • February 14, 2019

Taking into consideration what we know already, it seems likely that will occupy the March 2, 2018, following a similar trend to the original's Valentines Day weekend release. It makes sense this is the earliest unannounced slot; despite some turbulence following Tim Miller's departure, the film is going ahead on schedule, with John Wick director David Leitch taking control. Or, at least, taking over his share of control with himself, Ryan Reynolds.

Things get even more interesting when we throw into the mix. The latest date, Valentines Day 2019, stands out as a potential slot for third in the sequel. But this would leave only two dates (June 29, 2018 and November 2, 2018) for numerous properties, including Josh Broone's New Mutants, , and the anticipated X-Force offering. It's starting to look like for the X-Men, there's no room at the inn.

The X-Force May Be About To Take Center Stage

Is the X-Force the future?
Is the X-Force the future?

The tired X-Men franchise was most recently typified by Apocalypse, a film that was messy and failed to deliver, despite a good box office performance. With star names set to move on, and main attraction Wolverine also bowing out soon, the X-Men are beginning to look like something from days of future past. Or simply past.

With an introduction of key X-Force members in Deadpool 2 and beyond, the X-Verse is becoming saturated, and a specific focus on the antihero ensemble looks inevitable. There is of course chance the speculation could be misguided; maybe Deadpool 3 will turn into the ensemble, in the same way Captain America: Civil War brought the MCU's biggest and best together.

But in order to breathe life back into the X-Verse, Fox have some difficult decisions to make. And, according to these new release dates, it looks like some of those difficult decisions may have already been made.


Who do you think Fox will focus on in their upcoming slate?

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)