Director Josh Boone’s upcoming New Mutants movie may have found its Cannonball in Stranger Things star Charlie Heaton. Set to start filming in July, Boone’s upcoming New Mutants X-Men spin-off film will follow five teenagers who are held captive in a secret facility. Boone himself has described the film as a “full-fledged horror movie," which would make it a very different entry in Fox’s long-running series indeed, and certainly fits with the director’s horror influences.
Relative newcomer and Split star Ana Taylor-Joy, as well as Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, have already joined the cast of New Mutants ahead of Heaton - with Joy set to play Magik and Williams set to take up the role of Wolfsbane. Nat Wolff was previously reported to be the frontrunner for the character of Cannonball, before negotiations began with Heaton.
As reported by THR, Heaton - who’s perhaps best known as Jonathan Bryers on Netflix’s hugely popular series Stranger Things - is in negotiations to take up the mantle of Sam Guthrie, better known by his mutant name Cannonball. In the comics, Guthrie can fly at high speeds while encased in a personal force field that is invulnerable and is also a founding member of the New Mutants.
While it’s not yet a guarantee, it seems like a solid choice on Boone and company’s part to cast Heaton in such a pivotal role for New Mutants. Stranger Things has proven to be one of Netflix’s most popular original shows, thanks in large part to its capable acting and nostalgia-fueled horror story (it’s also set to return with its second season later this year). With New Mutants’ aforementioned delve into more horror-like elements, casting a star from an extremely-popular horror show is a smart way to give that image a little more credibility.
Assuming it becomes a reality, this will be Heaton’s first major blockbuster film, as well as the first film for the actor since the release of Stranger Things. This would certainly be a major first step in the actor capitalizing on the success he’s already found with Stranger Things and hopefully becoming a major star. Fellow Stranger Things cast mate Millie Bobby Brown has already started to pave her own path to cinematic success by being cast as the lead in the upcoming Godzilla follow up, Godzilla: King of Monsters.
Though it seems more than likely that Heaton will be joining New Mutants as Cannonball, there are still other principal roles that the film hasn’t quite filled out yet. This includes characters like Mirage - who was pivotal in the New Mutants comic storyline - though it’s rumored that Boone has it narrowed it down to two choices for the role. Still, with filming set to begin in July, Boone still has time to fill out the rest of his cast and hopefully craft a satisfying New Mutants movie that delivers on the unique blend of superhero and horror that he seems so intent on serving up.
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