Fox has delayed Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman prequel to February 2020 and given its old November date to James Mangold's Ford v. Ferrari, instead. The move comes at a time of great change for the studio, with Disney projected to finalize its purchase of 21st Century Fox's assets in March. This will reportedly result in thousands of job losses at Fox and sweeping alterations to the studio's larger release slate, as well as a monumental shift in the larger media landscape that gives the Mouse House an unpredecented monopoly.
The Kingsman prequel, which is currently titled Kingsman: The Great Game, is the next step in Vaughn's plans to build a shared Kingsman universe that includes a TV series and sequel to 2017's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, in addition to a spinoff movie about the Statesmen. It's not clear yet how the Disney-Fox deal will impact those plans, especially if The Great Game under-performs after the previous Kingsman films took in more than $400 million apiece. The delay to February could be part of Fox's attempt to improve the prequel's box office prospects, seeing as the original Kingsman: The Secret Service struck gold when it opened that month back in 2015.
THR is reporting that the Kingsman prequel will now hit theaters on February 14, 2020, with Ford v. Ferrari taking its former spot on November 15, 2019. The delay isn't altogether surprising, considering The Great Game only just started production with a top-notch cast that's confirmed to include Ralph Fiennes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Gemma Arterton, Stanely Tucci, Matthew Goode, Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance, among others. That means Vaughn will now have an actual year to finish shooting and editing the film, as opposed to the nine-month turnaround he was previously facing.
As for Ford v. Ferrari: the movie is a biopic about the Ford company's attempt to unsurp its top competitor Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans. The film was originally scheduled to arrive this summer on June 28, which was always a bit odd considering it has awards season contender written all over it. Indeed, in addition to its prestigious historical subject matter, the movie's being cowritten and directed by Mangold (who's coming off his achievement with Logan) and features Matt Damon and Christian Bale as its leads, with names like Jon Bernthal and Outlander's Caitriona Balfe filling out the ensemble. With a cast and production team that stacked with talent, it's not hard to imagine this one gaining traction in the next Oscar race.
Circling back to Kingsman - The Great Game should dominate the Valentine's frame when it opens next year. The prequel will face off with movies like the Nimona comic book adaptation and an untitled Disney live-action fairy tale, but is expected to earn the same R-rating as its predecessors and will serve as counter-programming to those far more family-friendly films. Meanwhile, Ford v. Ferrari will open against Bill Condon's con artist drama The Good Liar and Paul Feig's rom-com Last Christmas. All three releases are geared towards older audiences, but are pretty different from one another and shouldn't have too much trouble attracting a decent-sized crowd over the week before the far more competitive Thanksgiving frame.
- Ford v. Ferrari (2019) release date: Nov 15, 2019