Dark Phoenix is now in theaters, but the X-Men finale had a long road to get there, including a series of shifting release dates – for which blockbuster director James Cameron may be partially responsible for those date changes.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, an anonymous 20th Century Fox executive places some of the onus for moving Dark Phoenix‘s release date on James Cameron, who reportedly wanted a specific date for his film Alita: Battle Angel which necessitated moving Dark Phoenix‘s release date.
Dark Phoenix was originally scheduled for a November 2, 2018 theatrical release, but was rescheduled to February 14, 2019 to accomodate necessary reshoots. It’s the Feburary date that caused the purported Cameron complication.
Alita was initially scheduled for release in December 2018. However, producer Cameron didn’t want his film to face tough genre comeptition such as Aquaman and Bumblebee in the same theatrical frame. This reportedly resulted in former Fox executive Stacey Snider giving Dark Phoenix‘s February 14 date to Alita, and shifting Dark Phoenix to June 7.
According to THR‘s unnamed source, this change came much to the changrin of Dark Phoenix‘s producers Simon Kinberg (who also wrote and directed), Emma Watts, and Hutch Parker. “Emma, Hutch and Simon begged her not do it,” they said.
The reason for this, according to the source, is that the film was seen as too small for a summer tentpole release date, designed to feel and be smaller than its immediate predecessor X-Men: Apocalypse, which was perceived as being too action-oriented and overblown for audiences.
Dark Phoenix is now in theaters.