'Deadpool 2' heads back to theaters as Fox delays 'Alita' and 'Dark Phoenix'

December 2018 was always going to be a busy month at the box office. On the 21st alone the list of films being released was to include “Alita: Battle Angel,” “Aquaman,” “Bumblebee,” and “Holmes and Watson” (not to mention “Mary Poppins Returns,” which will open just two days prior). Today, however, the box office landscape for that weekend has shifted with 20th Century Fox moving “Alita” to February 14, 2019, pushing the already delayed “X-Men” sequel “Dark Phoenix” that was set for that date until June. Replacing “Alita” is a surprise new contender: a PG-13 re-release of “Deadpool 2”.

Although it’s officially scheduled as an untitled “Deadpool” movie, Deadline reports that the new “Deadpool 2” will offer a PG-13 cut of the film. Leading man Ryan Reynolds, meanwhile, posted the following to his Twitter account:

It sounds like the new “Deadpool” will be set against a parody of the storytelling framing used in Rob Reiner’s perennial fantasy classic “The Princess Bride”. You can see Wade Wilson sitting down with Fred Savage, presumably to tell him a more family friendly version of “Deadpool 2”.

The shift of “Dark Phoenix” to June 2019 comes as somewhat of a surprise given that the February 14 date was just used in the new trailer that debuted earlier this week. The franchise entry will now hit on June 7, 2019, less than two months before fellow “X-Men” film “New Mutants” on August 2nd. The studio has meanwhile set the continuously delayed “Gambit” for release on March 13, 2020. As you can tell by today’s calendar shifts, however, that date is hardly set in stone.

Silas Lesnick is the Senior Editor of Moviebill. He has been covering entertainment news out of Los Angeles for more than a decade. You can reach him via e-mail or on Twitter.