Fox bosses have brought forward the release of their troubled Freddie Mercury biopic, which pushes back the next two X-Men movies.
The film, titled Bohemian Rhapsody, charts the life of the late Queen frontman and has the blessing of the surviving members of the band, but has spent years in development hell before shooting finally got underway in September (17). The project again looked to be in jeopardy after the firing of director Bryan Singer, days before he was named in a sexual assault lawsuit.
British filmmaker Dexter Fletcher took over from Singer, and Fox executives are confident enough in Fletcher's work to have brought its release date forward from Christmas Day to November.
Bohemian Rhapsody's co-writer Anthony McCarten told WENN that Fletcher had rescued the movie, and tipped Mr. Robot star Rami Malek, who plays Freddie, as a potential awards contender.
"Dexter brought his professionalism and he's a very gifted director and it's a very hard situation to walk into for anyone when someone's half-prepared the meal and you've got to finish it off," he said. "It's wrapped, it's in the can and you heard it here first, it's going to be extraordinary. The movie, the music, the central performance by Rami Malek. He'd better have a tuxedo, because the stuff I've seen is stand out."
The Freddie biopic will now be released on 2 November, the date originally earmarked for comic book movie X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which stars Sophie Turner as the titular hero.
Singer also oversaw Fox's X-Men films, with 2016's X Men: Apocalypse the fourth film he directed in the franchise - and he has a producers' credit on the new movie.
Dark Phoenix, which also stars returning X-Men regulars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult, will now debut on Valentine's Day next year.
Another X-Men movie, The New Mutants, which was filmed last year and stars Sophie's Game of Thrones castmate Maisie Williams, has also been delayed. It was originally scheduled to open this April, before its opening was pushed back to next February. Its release has now been postponed again, and fans will have to wait until August 2019 to see the film.