Last summer Twentieth Century Fox signed Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars) set to direct and co-write an adaptation of the New Mutants Marvel Comics series with Knate Gwaltney (of Jackass fame). No release date or official greenlight was set for the X-Men spinoff about new mutant recruits but this week, while promoting Star Wars Rebels, producer Simon Kinberg (the planner of the X-movie franchise) provided some updates and teased what to expect.
We used that news to explain how and why New Mutants is a strong property to add to the X-Men catalog at this very moment, given the plans for modern day spinoffs (like Deadpool and Gambit) after X-Men: Days of Future Past altered the entire continuity/timeline. And with X-Men: Apocalypse and the "main" X-Men team-ups stuck in the past, New Mutants gives the studio a way to embrace another style of team-up movie and perhaps bring it closer to the present. That doesn't seem to be in the cards just yet with today's casting news and character reveals but we finally know who's going to be in New Mutants!
Hitfix has the scoop on the first casting choices for New Mutants which they claim is very much inspired by the original Chris Claremont run of the series in the '80s, hence producer Simon Kinberg explaining this week that the film will appropriately have "more of a YA [Young Adult] vibe to it." Some of the reported casting choices and news had us slightly surprised.
Here's who's on the New Mutants roster and/or featuring in the film in a big way:
Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane is a Scottish character with werewolf-like transformation abilities and according to the latest report, British star Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) is attached to play the part. Interestingly enough, her Game of Thrones sister actress Sophie Turner is playing fellow mutant hero Jean Grey in this summer's X-Men: Apocalypse.
Wolfsbane had a very strict Christian upbringing which creates an interesting dynamic between her and the next character whose powers are demonic.
Illya Rasputin a.k.a. Magik is an exciting and arguably outlandish choice given the character's history and powers in Marvel Comics but it's not a surprising choice given that Kinberg namedropped her as a personal fave in our New Mutants article yesterday. Magik is of course the sister to X-Men hero Colossus and after he was re-introduced in Deadpool with his proper Russian accent, expect New Mutants to deliver a faithful adaptaiton of Magik's origins too.
U.S. born but Argentine-British raised actress Anya Taylor-Joy who just had her breakout role in The Witch has been attached for this role.
A charming and likable southern kid, Sam Guthrie a.k.a. Cannonball is a must for any fans of the original New Mutants and X-Force comics. He became close friends with time-travelling mutant Cable (no mention of him for New Mutants) and has the power to fly, becoming nearly invincible when doing so. No names have been reported for this role yet.
Dani Moonstar a.k.a. Mirage is another one of the original characters who needs to be on the team. Mirage is of Cheyenne, continuing the theme of the team's diverse and international roster of heroes, and as her name suggests, she has psychic and psionic abilities to that allow her to create visions or fears in others. No names have been reported for this role yet.
The fifth main New Mutants character is one we've already met but it appears they're recasting a presumably younger version of the Brazilian mutant. Roberto da Costa a.k.a. Sunspot appeared in the future segments of 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past alongside fellow New Mutants alum Warpath (no mention of him for the New Mutants movie though) where he was played by Adan Canto.
Sunspot's powers, as we've seen before, allow him to absorb, manipulate and weaponize the power of the sun and sunlight which also allows the the ability to fly and seemingly light himself on fire.
Serving a connective plot thread to the main X-Men roster from X-Men: Apocalypse, Alexandra Shipp's Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm will apparently be on the team as well. Perhaps this is due to her primiarly serving as one of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse (the villains of the movie) before obviously turning into a hero by the end of the film. Her journey as an X-Men in the new timeline sees her among the New Mutants.
7. Professor X
Every team needs a leader and for the old school X-Men, that's Charles Xavier. It's his School for Gifted Youngsters where the New Mutants train after all. Hitfix reports that James McAvoy will be back again after the First Class trilogy wraps up this summer to continue playing a leadership role in this spinoff. There's no surprise there given McAvoy's passion for the character and universe, and it builds off a report from August that both he and Michael Fassbender had signed on for a fourth X-Men movie each.
What About The Main X-Men?
Since Charles Xavier and Ororo Munroe will seemingly be key players in the New Mutants movie, this will be the first time Fox's X-Men franchise will have to deal with the problem the Marvel Cinematic Universe faces when Avengers characters are absent in other stories. Presumably, New Mutants will take place at least party at the X-Mansion, so where are the X-Men?
The new team of X-Men to be introduced this summer in Apocalypse are exactly that - a new team. In a way, they're the New Mutants before Cyclops and Storm become leadership figures for the X-Men. That's why Storm is on the New Mutants team after all (because her superhero career is just starting), so will the others have a part to play too? Will they be on another mission? With Magik involved, do we meet a younger Colossus?
Much of this will be determined by when the New Mutants film takes place. The other franchise spinoffs (Deadpool, Wolverine 3, and Gambit) are all set in the modern era, but given that Shipp is playing young Storm, New Mutants may not. X-Men: Apocalypse takes place in 1983 and it's the '80s when the New Mutants comic series primarily ran. This movie could also be in the '80s then, not long after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, or the the studio could be skipping ahead closer to the '90s. Without knowing more, at first glance it seems a bit of a wasted opportunity not bringing back some familiar New Mutant faces (like the Warpath and Sunspot we already met) or even Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who's playing a New Mutants type character in the modern-set Deadpool.
What are your thoughts on the character selection (which is very close to the original comics roster), the casting choices, and potential time period of the film?
X-Men: Apocalypse opens in theaters May 27th, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.