20th Century Fox never lets a little thing like their upcoming films having not actually gone into production yet stop them from setting release dates. That’s common practice for most studios these days, but Fox was one of the earliest pioneers of that practice, and for better or worse the filmmakers working under them have had to adapt or hit the bricks. Nothing personal, just business.
In keeping with that fine tradition, the studio has recently announced a slew of new dates for some of the biggest projects on their production slate for the coming years. Even though the long-in-development Fantastic Four reboot helmed by Josh Trank (Chronicle) still hasn’t began shooting, its hypothetical sequel already has a release date set for July 14, 2017. Fox is also continuing to exploit their other profitable Marvel properties with another Wolverine sequel debuting on March 3, 2017 (with James Mangold, director of last year’s terrific The Wolverine, returning), and a mysterious Marvel feature set for July 13, 2018.
With the next X-movie X-Men: Apocalypse already set for May 2016, the identity of the mystery Marvel movie could involve either that franchise or it could be the film that unites both the X-Men and Fantastic Four for the first time on the big screen. Seeing as how Fantastic Four 2 (if it even happens) opens almost a year to the date of the 2018 Marvel feature, the sequel and Apocalypse could both function as set-ups for the movie that eventually brings both super-teams together in battle against a greater threat.
The studio has also nailed down a January 9, 2015 opening date for Taken 3, which is still in pre-production, and set March 4, 2016 as the premiere of an unknown new film from Ridley Scott. There is some speculation that the Scott feature may or may not be the sequel to Prometheus, but given his long-term relationship with Fox the visionary British filmmaker could have something else in mind. There hasn’t been much news regarding the Prometheus follow-up other than it’s currently being written by Jack Paglen, who also scripted next month’s sci-fi thriller Transcendence starring Johnny Depp, and Scott still has not committed to returning to the director’s chair though he has expressed an interest in doing so since the release of the first film.
In addition to the new dates, there was also the announcement of some release date shifts: Matthew Vaughn‘s latest comic book adaptation The Secret Service has been moved up from March 6, 2015 to October 24, 2014, while a new screen version of Frankenstein directed by Paul McGuigan (Sherlock) with a screenplay by Chronicle scribe Max Landis and James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe starring was pushed back from January 16, 2015, to October 2, 2015.