Laying claim to a choice release date 18 months ahead of time, 20th Century Fox has announced that it will release X2, the second film in its X-Men franchise, on May 2, 2003.

The dating comes in the week that Warner Bros secured domestic rights to Terminator 3: The Rise Of The Machines which it will open in summer 2003. That's in addition to the two Matrix films which it has scheduled for May and December respectively, the third Harry Potter film The Prisoner Of Azkaban and New Line's Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King which are scheduled for Nov and Dec respectively.

X2 is scheduled to start principal photography on May 2002 after Halle Berry has completed her role in the 20th Bond film. Berry returns along with Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen and James Marsden. Bryan Singer will again direct, producers are Ralph Winter, Lauren Shuler Donner and Avi Arad and the script is by David Hayter.