It took 20th Century Fox long enough. But we finally have an official release date for Deadpool 2. The movie has been given some prime summer real estate with a June 1, 2018 launch. Ryan Reynolds will return as Wade Wilson, the Merc with a Mouth, and this time out, he'll share top billing with Josh Brolin, who'll be making his X-Men debut as time traveling mutant Cable.

20th Century Fox has also announced a number of other release dates, including Steven Spielberg's Pentagon Papers drama starring Tom Hanks, Bryan Singer's Bohemian Rhapsody, two more Marvel superhero movies that include the X-Men spin-off, New Mutants and the sequel Dark Phoenix, and lastly Steve McQueen's Windows. But who cares about any of that? Deadpool 2 is the hot ticket item here.

Arriving in 2016 as one of the biggest releases of that year, and one of the top selling R-Rated releases of all time, Deadpool became an unheard of kind of phenomenon in this current age of throwaway cinema. The sequel is now one of the most anticipated sequels of the decade. And as such, it's leaving its original February dumping ground to play with the big dogs next summer.

Related: Deadpool 2 Oscars Campaign Launches, and It's Not a Joke

Deadpool was a passion project for Ryan Reynolds, and it finally paid off after almost a decade of trying to get it off the ground. The first outing is called a 'sleeper hit' by The Hollywood Reporter. It earned $783 million worldwide before dominating the Blu-ray and DVD sales charts for months.

Deadpool 2 will reunite Ryan Reynolds with original Deadpool 2 writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, with Drew Goddard joining the team to help assist with the story and some of the jokes. Tim Miller infamously left the director's chair after making the first movie such a hit. He's been replaced by John Wick co-director David Leitch. Along with the aforementioned Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz has also joined the cast as Cable's deadly girlfriend Domino. Shooting will begin this June, with the entire production process getting a full year, a luxury not often afforded to some of today's bigger superhero movies. The team is definitely looking to get this one right.

Deadpool 2 is surely the most anticipated X-Men spin-off coming next year. But it's not the only one. 20th Century Fox has set release dates for three Marvel movies altogether. Arriving in the spring, before Deadpool 2, is New Mutants, which will hit theaters April 13, 2018. It is rumored that Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Brianna Hildebrand and first introduced in Deadpool will return here alongside a host of iconic Marvel characters that have never made their way to the big screen before. Bringing up the rear will be X-Men 7, now simply known as Dark Phoenix. It lands on November 2, 2018.

New Mutants is directed by Josh Boone and follows a young team of of superheroes. Dark Phoenix will revisit the classic comic book arc that reveals how Jean Grey became host for the Phoenix Force, a cosmic entity that causes Jean to become a destructive power ultimately leading to her death. Sophie Turner will reprise her role from X-Men: Apocalypse. No director is in place yet, but longtime X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg is at the top of the list to direct. The plot is basically rebooting the events seen in 2006's X-Men 3: The Last Stand.

On to the awards contenders that Fox is also releasing in 2018. Steven Spielberg's Washington Post Pentagon Papers movie that features Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep together for the first time on the big screen is hitting theaters on December 22, 2018. The film is without a title right now. The initial drop will hit limited theaters to give it an awards season run. The wide release happens in January 2019. Widows, another Oscar contender, will hit theaters on November 16, 2018. And Bryan Singer, who is known for his time spent in the director's chair on the original X-Men, it's first sequel, and the last two outings, will have his non-Mutant drama Bohemian Rhapsody hitting theaters on Christmas Day, 2018.

Fox also made a few more tweaks to its release schedule. Murder on the Orient Express has gotten a slight bump from November 22, 2017 to November 10. And Jennifer Lawrence's The Red Sparrow is arriving a little earlier. Scheduled to hit November 10, 2018, it will now arrive on March 2 of that year. Lastly, the hugely anticipated franchise reboot The Predator is getting a slight delay, moving from February 9, 2018 to a summer slot on August 3.

Deadpool 2 currently has no direct competition on June 1 next summer. It will arrive one week after the Han Solo Star Wars spin-off. And the following week sees reboot Ocean's 8 and Transformers: Bumblebee into theaters. The month of June, 2018 also sees the release of Jurassic World 2 and Barbie (which could end up getting delayed). New Mutants will have to face off against Paramount Pictures A Quite Place, a horror drama directed by and starring John Krasinski and his real-life wife Emily Blunt. It will also open against one of Universal's Monster movies, though the title hasn't been revealed at this time. New Mutants opens one week after Disney's A Wrinkle in Time and one week before Dwayne Johnson's video game adaptation Rampage. Lastly, X-Men 7 will have to face off against Disney's live-action Mulan remake as well as an untitled Paramount event movie.

B. Alan Orange