In addition to release dates for Deadpool 2 and New Mutants, 20th Century Fox today also announced a third X-Men movie for release in 2018: X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Yes indeed folks, the Dark Phoenix storyline will be tackled once again in what appears to be the next film in the main X-Men franchise following last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix will open in theaters on November 2, 2018, which follows the April release of New Mutants and June release of Deadpool 2, capping off a banner superhero year for the studio. On that November date, the film will be squaring off directly against Disney’s live-action Mulan and opens one week after Warner Bros.’ motion-capture Jungle Book: Origins and Sony’s reboot The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
But the release date is pretty much all we officially know about X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It was recently announced that Simon Kinberg, the writer/producer of X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse as well as the producer of Deadpool and X-Men: First Class, was being eyed to direct the next main X-Men movie. Fox hasn’t yet confirmed if Kinberg will indeed be directing X-Men: Dark Phoenix (he’s certainly writing it), but if the studio is ready to announce a release date they must be close to landing the film’s director.
Kinberg has been itching to tell the Dark Phoenix story for some time now. He was a co-writer on X-Men: The Last Stand, which told a version of the Dark Phoenix comics arc but which Kinberg admits missed the mark. Now, with Sophie Turner being introduced as the new Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse, it appears Kinberg and Co. are ready to hopefully nail this popular comics storyline.
The involvement of Bryan Singer in this film is unclear. He returned to the X-Men franchise to helm the swell X-Men: Days of Future Past and also directed the underwhelming X-Men: Apocalypse, but Fox just dated the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody for release in December 2018 with Singer directing, so he most certainly won’t be helming X-Men: Dark Phoenix but he’ll likely remain involved as a producer.
As for when Dark Phoenix might start filming, it’ll have to get underway this summer if Turner is involved. She’ll be due back to shoot the final season of Game of Thrones this August or September, so again, I imagine Fox already has the film’s director in mind.
We’ll certainly share more information as we get it, but right now all Fox will officially say is that X-Men: Dark Phoenix is hitting theaters on November 2, 2018. And with Deadpool 2 and New Mutants also set for release next year, the studio appears to be making a pretty big superhero statement in 2018. Coming off the smashing success of the R-rated Logan, it’ll be curious to see how the studio continues to branch out in the superhero genre.