Fox has pushed the release date for Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman prequel, The King's Man, back from February to September 2020. In the months since Disney finalized its purchase of Fox, the Mouse House has made several release date changes in order to avoid pitting the studio's films against its own. As a result, a number of Fox projects have recently seen their release dates pushed back by as little as a few months (Spies in Disguise) to as much as 8-9 months (New Mutants). The King's Man was similarly delayed this past winter, shortly before the deal was finalized.
A prequel that explores the origins of the Kingsman secret intelligence organization, The King's Man is directed by Kingsman 1 & 2 helmer Matthew Vaughn from an original script he co-wrote with Karl Gajdusek (Oblivion). The film was initially set to arrive this month (November 15, to be exact), but was thereafter postponed to February 2020. It has since moved back again, albeit this time to the tail-end of summer.
According to THR, The King's Man's release date has now been shifted from February 14, 2020 to September 18 that same year. Fox also set new release dates for the Patricia Highsmith thriller adaptation Deep Water and Ridley Scott-directed historical drama The Last Duel on November 13, 2020 and December 25, 2020 (with a wide release on January 8, 2021), respectively.
Marketing for The King's Man has already gotten well underway, with a teaser trailer having dropped in July followed by a full-length promo in September. Fortunately, its second release date change doesn't appear to be related to concerns over the film's quality. Rather, it seems to have more to do with next year's Valentine's Day frame having become too crowded. Among the movies set to release that weekend are the live-action/CGI Sonic the Hedgehog and Blumhouse's horror genre re-imagining of the Fantasy Island TV series. Both films premiered new trailers that generated a lot of buzz this week, and are targeting many of the same demographics as The King's Man. As such, Fox has (smartly) decided to avoid releasing Vaughn's prequel against the pair of them.
Instead, The King's Man will go head to head with the Tom Clancy adaptation Without Remorse (starring Michael B. Jordan) in mid-September next year. There's some overlap between the films' core audiences, but The King's Man has the advantage thanks to brand recognition. Not to mention, Kingsman: The Golden Circle did solid business opening around the same time in 2017, so the franchise already has a good track record with openings in that month. The trailers for The King's Man have emphasized its WWI setting and pulpy, but relatively serious tone, which appears to be a response to criticisms that The Golden Circle went overboard with its cartoonish humor. That's to say, the movie may yet manage to win back those who were less than impressed with the Kingsman's second outing.