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Report: Deadpool 2 release date changed, avoiding Star Wars clash (update)

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Insiders say it is not related to the merger

Deadpool - Deadpool reading a note 20th Century Fox

The release dates of Deadpool 2, The New Mutants and Gambit have all been shuffled, according to the Hollywood Reporter, in a big shakeup of the upcoming slate of X-Men movies.

But don’t worry too much if you’re looking forward to Deadpool 2: It has actually moved up two weeks, from June 1, 2018, to May 18.

You’re in less luck if you had your eye on The New Mutants or Gambit. New Mutants’ original release date of April 13 has reportedly been blasted back nearly a year to Feb. 22, 2019. The long-troubled Gambit has been bumped yet again, from February 2019 to June 7, 2019.

Polygon has reached out to 21st Century Fox to confirm the new release dates. According to the Hollywood Reporter’s sources, shuffling nearly the entire X-Men film lineup (excepting only November’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix) is all about keeping the X-movies from competing with each other. Under their old release dates, for example, Deadpool 2 and The New Mutants would have been in international theaters at the same time. And Gambit’s director recently left the project, again, leaving the film on the search for a new one, and potentially needing a bit more time.

The acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox by Disney is less likely to have been a motivating factor for the date changes. But that’s not to say that a Disney film wasn’t a part of the decision. Solo: A Star Wars Story is set to hit theaters on May 25. Deadpool 2 has moved from a release date two weeks after Solo — and well within the box-office dominance of a modern Star Wars film — to the comparatively sleepy weekend before Solo premieres.

It just might be that Deadpool is more afraid of Han Solo than he is of Slender Man.

Update: For his part, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds has tweeted in apparent confirmation: