Marvel fans were elated to hear the initial plans from 20th Century Fox to develop New Mutants into a film project. In a surprising twist, the film was planned as a horror-tinged take on the X-Men series.
While the delay is disappointing, it might actually be a very good thing for the film. Let’s explain why, as we give you a brief history of THE NEW MUTANTS.
Who Are The New Mutants?
Josh Boone (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS) signed on to direct the first new crack at a superhero horror film in a long time, and THE NEW MUTANTS will feature Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga and Blu Hunt in the lead roles.
Those roles are five young mutants — Magik, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, Sunspot and Mirage — held in a secret facility against their will. While learning to control their mutant abilities, they must deal with their past while trying to fight for their future. Easy to see how the horror angle might come into play.
The New Mutants are a junior varsity version of the X-Men in the pages of Marvel Comics. They are young, inexperienced, and trying their best to learn to control their mutant powers. Usually, Charles Xavier is around to help train the team, but he will not show up in this new movie.
Is There a New Mutants Trailer?
Fans were given a first look at the movie when the debut trailer arrived way back in October 2018. The marketing team ramped up a new campaign recently with polished visual effects that show off the powers of the New Mutants, so press play on the above clip and start to learn more about these super teens.
X-Men Vs. X-Men
THE NEW MUTANTS was intended to be the first of three X-Men films to premiere in 2018, with DEADPOOL 2 following in June and X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX in November. All of that shifted when Walt Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, absorbing the Marvel assets that used to belong to that studio.
At the time, THE NEW MUTANTS got stuck between a rock and a hard place. The film largely was finished, but no one understood where it would fall in the MCU continuity… especially because Marvel likely wants to roll out its own versions of the X-Men and the Mutants in their own timeline.
For a while, it was thought THE NEW MUTANTS might be shelved, or dropped onto Hulu or Disney+. But the studio still believes in the movie, and so they are mounting a theatrical release.
A New Take on Horror
The X-Men have been the risk takers lately in terms of Marvel-branded movies. LOGAN and DEADPOOL had great success going the R-rated route. Marvel hasn’t dealt much in the world of horror (though there is BLADE, a Marvel adaptation that arrived before the current superhero boom), so that offers a new path for the franchise.
THE NEW MUTANTS will dabble in horror, while maintaining its PG-13 rating. There will still be plenty of scares, however. When Josh Boone spoke to IGN about his approach to horror in storytelling, he explained, "Ninety percent of this movie was shot on real locations. We did as many of the effects practically as we could. It has some big visual effects stuff as well, but we really tried to do everything we could possibly do real, so it would feel a little bit more like those movies we liked and were inspired by. Ten percent of the movie was green screen and nothing else really. We shot in a 150-year-old mental hospital that’d been closed for 50 years."
Those inspirations he referred to? Try ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and basically anything with Stephen King’s name attached. Rumors have swirled that initial test screenings performed well, but there was room to make it more intense and frightening. The studio gave itself more opportunity for reshoots. Even small amounts of editing could noticeably change the tone of the movie. In this case, fans will be looking for a balanced mix of terror and X-Men lore.
We’re very excited to see this unique superhero team on the big screen for the first time. Make sure you get your tickets to THE NEW MUTANTS as soon as they go on sale.