If the director of The New Mutants has his way, next year's film will only be the beginning. Chatter was quiet during the filming of The New Mutants, but the release of the first teaser trailer has finally opened the floodgates as we head towards its spring release. Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix will arrive later next year, but first comes the X-Men series' first horror offering.
Loosely adapting Bill Sienkiewicz run on the New Mutants comic in the '80s, the film will see Magik, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, Mirage, and Cannonball stuck in a facility as they try and understand their burgeoning mutant powers. Naturally, mutants should always be wary of such institutions, but this one will have the added twist of something dangerous and seemingly supernatural lurking around every corner. And, while it will have connections to the other X-Men films, the movie will very much operate in its own space. A space, it seems, that could expand.
IGN spoke with The New Mutants director Josh Boone about where he sees the movie going. Boone says he pitched the project as the start of a trilogy, with each film exploring different of the horror subgenres:
"We brought it to FOX as a trilogy of films, really all based on that long run by Sienkiewicz, and kind of incorporates some stuff from later issues in the '80s. These are all going to be horror movies, and they're all be their own distinct kind of horror movies. This is certainly the ‘rubber-reality’ supernatural horror movie. The next one will be a completely different kind of horror movie. Our take was just go examine the horror genre through comic book movies and make each one its own distinct sort of horror film. Drawing from the big events that we love in the comics."
Applying different genres to superhero films is nothing new, but horror isn't an element that's really been explored before. While the Blade trilogy certainly trafficked in aspects of the supernatural, it leaned more towards the action end of the spectrum rather than the scary and psychological. As such, even if The New Mutants isn't a success it will be an engrossing experiment.
Interestingly, a number of directors from the horror genre have jumped to superhero movie making. James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), David F.Sandberg (Shazam!), and James Wan (Aquaman) all made names for themselves in the genre before signing on to decidedly non-horror movies. However, it will be the director of The Fault in Our Stars who finally makes it happen with The New Mutants.
What genres he has in mind for the future, Boone didn't say, although given The New Mutants is clearly supernatural - the tried-and-true modern formula of 'rubber reality' will heavily be used in the new movie (best displayed in the 'face and hands pushing through a wall' trope) - a slasher sequel definitely seems likely.
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020