Josh Boone's New Mutants will blend the X-Men film franchise with the horror genre. The story will see a group of youthful mutants - including Maisie Williams's Wolfsbane and Anya-Taylor Joy's Magik - threatened by the supernatural force known as the Demon Bear. Inspired by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz’s popular comic book run, the film also cues from classics of the horror genre, including The Shining and Nightmare on Elm Street. New Mutants was originally slated to release in April 2018, but has been twice pushed back for extensive reshoots in order to increase the horror tone.
- Movie Title: The New Mutants
- Release Date: August 2, 2019
- Cast: Antonio Banderas, Alice Braga, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, and Henry Zaga
- Director: Josh Boone
- Writer: Josh Boone and Knate Lee
The Heroes Cast of The New Mutants
The heroes of Fox's New Mutants film are a group of troubled mutant teenagers who wind up facing a terrifying threat. The main cast includes Maisie Williams as the shapeshifting werewolf Wolfsbane; Anya Taylor-Joy as the deadly Russian sorceress Magik; Charlie Heaton as the hot-headed Cannonball; Henry Zaga as the energy-manipulating Sunspot; and Blu Hunt as Mirage, a mutant who can give visions of people's greatest fears. The youths are watched over by a mentor/doctor, Cecilia Reyes, who is played by Alice Braga.
The Villains of The New Mutants
In November 2015, a leaked animatic revealed that the villain of New Mutants is a creature known as the Demon Bear. This has been confirmed, with writer/director Josh Boone tapping into the popular "Demon Bear Saga" from the comics for inspiration. Created by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod, the Demon Bear is an astral creature that plagued the New Mutants member Mirage. Boone is taking inspiration from the entire Claremont run of New Mutants, though, so Demon Bear may not be the sole villain. There are rumors that a post-credits scene will actually introduce the classic X-Men bad guy Mr. Sinister.
Josh Boone is Writing and Directing The New Mutants
Childhood friends Josh Boone and Knate Gwaltney had grown up loving the X-Men comics, and were particularly fond of Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz’s New Mutants run. When the duo completed work on The Fault in Our Stars, they used a program called "Comic Life" to create a comic book that cut images from this run, and pitched this story to Simon Kinberg as a New Mutants trilogy. He was impressed, and swiftly signed off on it, with Boone as director and Gwaltney as his co-writer.
The Story of The New Mutants
As already mentioned, the plot of New Mutants is adapted from the classic "Demon Bear Saga," in which Xavier's School is attacked by a mystical force. The story has been reinvented somewhat, set against an institutionalized backdrop in which Cecilia Reyes runs a home for troubled young mutants whose powers are dangerously out of control. Probably the best description to date was given by Fox Studio Head Stacey Snider, who explained:
"New Mutants is about these teenagers who are just coming into their powers. It’s like watching mutants go through adolescence and they have no impulse control, so they’re dangerous. The only solution is to put them in a “Breakfast Club” detention/“Cuckoo’s Nest” institutional setting. It protects the people on the outside, but it’s strange and combustible inside. The genre is like a haunted-house movie with a bunch of hormonal teenagers. We haven’t seen it as a superhero movie whose genre is more like “The Shining” than “we’re teenagers let’s save the world."
It's little wonder the film's working title was "Growing Pains." Footage at CCXP 2017 showed the young mutants attempting to impress one another, with Taylor-Joy's Magik acting in "a totally debauched and arrogant way." A sinister comment about killing 18 men was accompanied by a flashback scene showing Magik wielding the mystical blade known as the Soulsword.
The New Mutants Franchise Connections
Josh Boone pitched New Mutants as a trilogy, launching the X-Men franchise's first horror series. Boone has envisioned this first movie as a "rubber reality" horror film, while the next will pivot to take inspiration from a different genre of horror. "Our take was just go examine the horror genre through comic book movies," Boone explained, "and make each one its own distinct sort of horror film. Drawing from the big events that we love in the comics."
New Mutants is set in the present day of the X-Men timeline. Although there were initially rumors of major cameos from James McAvoy and Alexandra Shipp, these have since been dismissed, and it now seems there will be no explicit cameos tying the film into the wider X-Men universe. Given Boone is a fan of the original comics, it will be interesting to see whether or not he references the X-Men's Colossus, Magik's brother in the comics. Colossus, of course, is strongly tied to the Deadpool franchise.
The New Mutants Release Date Change and Reshoots
New Mutants was originally due to release at cinemas on April 13, 2018, but was pushed back to February 22, 2019. Fox later delayed the release again, to August 19 of that year. There have been reports that extensive reshoots will see almost half the movie being re-filmed and an entirely new character added; there's been some speculation that the new character is the techno-organic being known as Warlock, whose name was consistently mentioned early on in production. It seems the success of IT has inspired Fox to push for the film to become a "full-fledged horror".
The Trailer for The New Mutants
The first trailer for New Mutants focused in on Blu Hunt's Mirage and Anya Taylor-Joy's Magik, two powerful characters who seem to be central to the film's plot. It certainly gives a strong sense of the film's horror inspiration, but it's worth noting that this trailer was released before the reshoots. It's likely the reworked New Mutants will up the horror tone even more considerably.
The New Mutants Teaser Videos
New Mutants was pushed back shortly before theatrical release, and as a result, the marketing push for the movie had already begun. This included a series of stylish teasers on social media, which called attention to:
- Wolfsbane's troubled background with her abusive father Reverend Craig
- Cannonball's nightmare of a mining accident
- Mirage and Magik's past
- The Demon Bear itself
Of course, all these were released before the film's changes, which may rework the characters' stories a little. Fortunately, the social media videos are heavy on style rather than substance. It's possible these will be re-released nearer to the film's actual release date.
The New Mutants Poster
The first New Mutants poster was a clear homage to Nightmare on Elm Street's "rubber wall" scene, faithfully reproduced by Josh Boone. Given the reshoots are expected to up the horror level still further, this is sure to be emblematic of the full approach.
More News on The New Mutants
- Why X-Men: Dark Phoenix's Release Was Delayed Three Months
- What The Hell Is Going On With The X-Men Franchise?
More Upcoming Superhero Movies
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019