Simon Kinberg Explains the X-Men: Dark Phoenix Delay

Last week, fans were finally treated to footage from Fox’s Dark Phoenix when Jean Grey herself, Sophie Turner, premiered the first trailer on The Late Late Show with James Corden. However, it wasn’t long before the studio announced that there was a Dark Phoenix delay coming. The film’s release date has been pushed from February 14, 2019 to June 7, 2019. This isn’t the first time the film has been pushed back, as it was initially scheduled to be released in November of this year before reshoots necessitated a move to its recently vacated February spot.

While speaking to Collider, Dark Phoenix writer and director Simon Kinberg explained that it was a combination of technical issues and the increased box office prospects of a summer release that compelled the powers that be to delay the film: “Some of the trailers had ‘Coming Soon’ on them and some of them said ‘February 14th,’” said Kinberg. “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.”

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“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,” continued Kinberg. “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.”

Kinberg also opined that releasing the trailer with the previously established February 14 release date tacked on at the end was a bit premature.

“In terms of the trailer release, 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].”

Dark Phoenix flies into theaters on June 7, and it may be the final X-Men movie before the Disney and Fox merger is finalized.

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