Twentieth Century Fox shifts the release dates for Maze Runner: The Death Cure and Francis Lawrence’s Red Sparrow. The studio announced a number of changes to their upcoming film slate today, including official dates for James Cameron’s Avatar sequels, three X-Men movies in 2018 (including New Mutants, Deadpool 2, and Dark Phoenix), as well as a delay of Shane Black’s Predator reboot, which is currently filming. However, while the Avatar series, X-Men franchise, and Fox’s effort to revitalize the Predator brand are no doubt some of the studio’s biggest properties, other upcoming movies saw changes to their release dates today as well.
The Death Cure is the third installment in the series adapted from James Dashner’s The Maze Runner trilogy. It was originally expected to release in February 2017, but star Dylan O’Brien was injured on set and the film was delayed until 2018. Meanwhile, Red Sparrow is an action thriller from director Francis Lawrence, who reteams with Jennifer Lawrence for the first time since helming the final three installments in The Hunger Games film series.
Now, both The Death Cure and Red Sparrow have been given new release dates on Fox’s upcoming slate. According to ComingSoon, Maze Runner: The Death Cure has been pushed back a few weeks from January 12, 2018 to February 9, 2018. Red Sparrow, meanwhile, has been delayed four months from November 10, 2017 to March 2, 2018.
Adapted from the 2013 novel of the same name by Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow follows a Russian ballerina who becomes a spy, but falls in love with a CIA agent. In addition to Lawrence, Red Sparrow stars Joel Edgerton as the CIA agent Nate Nash, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling and Ciarán Hinds. Footage for Red Sparrow screened at CinemaCon, which detailed the background of Lawrence’s character, Dominika Egorova, and how she became a spy for the Russian government. Now that Fox has delayed the film four months, it remains to be seen when the footage from CinemaCon will be released, though likely not until much later this year when the studio begins its promotional rollout for Red Sparrow.
As for The Death Cure, it will hit theaters roughly two and a half years after the previous installment in the series, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and may struggle to succeed since the decline in popularity of YA-adapted sci-fi properties. Both The Hunger Games and Divergent series – which are arguably more well known and released on schedule – saw marked declines in their box office openings with their most recent entries. In fact, Lionsgate scrapped plans for a big screen finale to the Divergent series after the third film, Allegiant, opened so far below expectations.
That said, with O’Brien set to lead American Assassin later this year alongside Michael Keaton, it seems his star is on the rise and he, along with those fans continuing with The Maze Runner series, could still prove to make The Death Cure a success.