All eyes are on Fox and Disney as we enter 2018. While the recently announced deal won’t go through for nearly 2 years at the least, questions over just how drastically this will affect Fox’s lineup, particularly the X-Men, will linger. While the in-process movies appear to be entirely unaffected, a recent shuffling of release dates understandably raised some eyebrows, including Deadpool 2 shifting up two weeks in a move seen as favorable to Solo: A Star Wars Story (a Disney movie), and New Mutants being delayed by 10 months to February 2019.
While Deadpool’s new release date is interesting, the long delay for New Mutants is the most intreguing. Not only was the movie just 3 months from hitting the big screen, but marketing had already been scaling up. It’s not clear exactly how the change will affect the marketing plans, but with one trailer already out and a regular release of character posters, the movie is now in an awkward position of probably cooling off its campaign until fall 2018.
The even bigger question, though, is what instigated the delay? There were no rumors of serious behind the scenes issues and if that was the reason for the delay, the date change would have happened a lot sooner. The initial word on the street says the movie was being test screened with a positive reception, but the studio thought the movie’s horror elements could be played up even more. It’s not clear if this simply means re-editing and post-production work or additional reshoots, but the fact that it’s delayed a full 10 months suggests something a little more intensive.
It’s at this point that things don’t seem to completely line up. By all accounts, New Mutants already appeared to embrace the horror movie approach. Not only did the director already promise this a number of times, but the trailers also clearly pushed that aesthetic. Considering the looming Disney acquisition and (assumed) eventual assimilation of the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s some room to speculate that the long delay is for more than the addition of some jump scares. What if they are also retrofitting some connections to the MCU?