Dark Phoenix's Reshoots Are Being Complicated by Scheduling
The challenge facing Simon Kinberg is simply that he has an all-star cast, all of whom are very much in demand. James McAvoy and his fellow Dark Phoenix star Jessica Chastain both started filming IT Chapter 2 in June, and McAvoy also has commitments to the BBC TV productions Watership Down and His Dark Materials. Sophie Turner's schedule is similarly busy, as she's been filming the final season of Game of Thrones, and Tye Sheridan has been filming The Night Clerk, which began production in May. Kinberg was unable to get the cast back together before August or September - far too close to the film's original release date for comfort.
That's the real reason X-Men: Dark Phoenix got pushed back to February 2019 - not the scale of the reshoots, but finding the right time for them. What's more, there was no way Fox could move the film back to December, where it would be competing with Aquaman, Bumblebee, Holmes and Watson, and Alita: Battle Angel. January is pretty much a dead zone on the movie front, so the Presidents Day weekend in February was the first sensible new release date Fox could give the film.
The X-Men Cast & Crew are Being Open About Reshoots
Perhaps in an effort to quell fans' worries about the reshoots, the cast and crew seem to be surprisingly open about them on social media. Jessica Chastain posted a video of herself with her Dark Phoenix wig, accompanied by the comment "Back on set." Kinberg followed that up with a stream of photos on Instagram - most notably one showing a chair with Sophie Turner's name on it. If the intention is to counter the negative buzz surrounding the film by going straight to audiences via social media, it's a similar approach to the one adopted by Ron Howard as he attempted to win Star Wars fans over to Solo: A Star Wars Story. It's possible we'll get a steady stream of similar teases over the course of the next fortnight.
The strangest thing about this, though, is that the cast and crew's openness isn't being matched by a marketing campaign. Marketing for X-Men: Dark Phoenix screeched to a halt when the movie was delayed, and it's yet to start up again. Trailers for tentpole movies tend to release about seven or eight months before the film hits the box office, so we're frankly overdue to see some actual footage. Hopefully these posts on social media will serve as the beginning of a major push, and we get more news over the next few weeks.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020