Don't Believe Those Dark Phoenix and New Mutants Cancelation Rumors

Dark Phoenix and New Mutants

If some rumors are to believed, the shareholder votes on Disney acquiring Fox's assets will see X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants canceled. However, that isn't actually the case, with recent speculation being just that.

Directed by long-time X-Men producer Simon Kinberg, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is the next entry in the main mutant series, picking up with the McAvoy/Fassbender prequel team in the 1990s for a readaptation of the famed Dark Phoenix Saga (previously attempted on the big screen in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand). It was originally set for a November 2018 release but in March of this year was pushed back to February 2019, reportedly due to reshoots delayed by actor schedules. New Mutants is a horror-tinged X-Men spinoff directed by Josh Boone that follows a group of powered youths in a haunted hospital. Its release date has changed twice, first from April 2018 to February 2019, then when Dark Phoenix moved to August 2019. Again, reshoots (to adjust the tone and add in a new character) were the cited reason.

Related: Why X-Men: Dark Phoenix & New Mutants' Release Dates Were Delayed

Recently, rumors have swirled that, among other things, both X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants are proving to be production nightmares with disastrous test screenings, and that Fox are planning to cancel them both outright. Before going any further, there's a major red flag here: there is no verifiable source. Everything being discussed is just hearsay from an unvetted message board user (from The SuperHeroHype forum) who claims to have worked on New Mutants since before Boone took the director's chair (but with no proof provided). It's been alleged that because these message boards have moderators, this makes this information more trustworthy, but that's not how the internet works. With what is essentially a "friend of a friend" source, there's nothing to connect the cancelation rumors or talk of no Gambit and X-Force being titled Deadpool 3: X-Force to what's really going on at Fox.

X-Men Dark Phoenix and New Mutants

It doesn't take an unreliable source for something to feel off about these rumors, though. The very question of dumping two movies that between them likely cost north of $300 million to produce is a suicidal proposition; that's a massive loss that would not be even partially made back now or in the future that could subsequently cause serious problems with investors. The delays and reshoots indicate the projects need some work, sure, but to not release at all isn't how Hollywood addresses these sort of problems. The lack of trailer for X-Men: Dark Phoenix may pique some people's interest, but with a February release that's not too surprising. The same goes for an absence at San Diego Comic-Con; Fox put their focus on impending release The Predator, just as they did Kingsman: The Golden Circle last year in lieu of Deadpool 2 (and New Mutants).

The defining issue, though, comes with the impending purchase of 20th Century Fox by Disney. Now it's gone through, the X-Men, Fantastic Four and all affiliated characters are returning to Marvel Studios, thus allowing mutants et al to finally appear in the MCU and giving Disney ownership of previously released films. This had some fans questioning what would happen to X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants from the moment they were delayed to 2019, and subsequently fuels this new rumor: it's alleged the decision to cancel comes from the Mouse House (with it further speculated they'll be saved for the upcoming Disney streaming service).

Frankly, supposition doesn't matter in this area because, legally, it just can't be done; until the ink is dry, both companies are legally obligated to continue as normal. That means Fox can't be making moves for dissolution and Disney cannot interfere with Fox's output (this is also why you shouldn't expect the X-Men to appear in the MCU at all until 2021 at the earliest). These rumors that X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants are canceled directly imply that there has been Disney involvement at Fox, something that could damage the overall purchase.

Related: What The Hell Is Going On With The X-Men Franchise?


If either or both of these X-Men movies were to be canceled (or, to be more accurate, put on hold indefinitely) it would certainly be a major blow to Fox and/or Disney (that $300 million net loss wouldn't be wiped in the transaction). But there is nothing beyond rogue rumors from unverifiable sources to go on at present, so this one should be put to bed.

Next: X-Men: Dark Phoenix - Every Update You Need To Know

Key Release Dates
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
  • New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
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