Was James Cameron Responsible For Dark Phoenix’s Delay?

Was James Cameron Responsible For Dark Phoenix’s Delay?

Dark Phoenix didn’t exactly give Fox’s X-Men saga a proper send off.  The film only made $33 million in its opening weekend and it may lose over $100 million when all is said and done. Now, a story in The Hollywood Reporter has shed more light on Dark Phoenix‘s behind-the-scenes issues. It also points the blame for the film’s final delay squarely at “Fox’s most important filmmaker” – James Cameron.

At the time, Cameron was pushing Alita: Battle Angel, which he produced alongside director Robert Rodriguez. Cameron was concerned about releasing that film in December 2018 directly against Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Mary Poppins Returns. Per the source, Cameron reportedly had a word with the studio about releasing Alita in February instead. However, that date was occupied by Dark Phoenix.

Stacey Snider, Fox’s chairman and CEO, relented to Cameron’s request. The source explained that vice chairman Emma Watts, producer Hutch Parker, and Kinberg “begged her not to do it.” But because Snider gave in to Cameron, Dark Phoenix was moved from February 2019 to June 2019.

Related: Dark Phoenix May Lose Over $100 Million

According to the report, Dark Phoenix wasn’t really designed to be a “summer” film. It was intended as an “anti-Apocalypse,” with a much smaller tone to conclude the franchise. The studio initially thought it could be an off-season hit because it was “too small for summer.”

Another problem revolved around the film’s advertising getting “lost” during the Fox/Disney merger. “The campaign was muddled,” the source explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “Was this the final X-Men movie? Was it about a character going back? This movie just got lost.”

Without official word from Disney or Fox, it’s hard to fully access blame for Dark Phoenix’s failure. But it does leave some question as to what will happen with The New Mutants, which will reportedly undergo reshoots sometime this year, before hitting theaters in April 2020. THR’s full report can be found here.

Do you think Cameron’s request helped doom Dark Phoenix? Let us know in the comment section below.

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