Despite the film release schedule being significantly pushed back due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020 is still set to be a good year for superhero movies with both Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow dated to open in the Autumn. This month however, all attention turns to the much delayed, The New Mutants, directed by Josh Boone.
Taking inspiration from the Marvel comic series of the same name, The New Mutants is set in the X-Men cinematic universe and follows the journey of five young mutants who are trapped in a secret facility and must use their newly emerging mutant powers to escape. It’s intended as a standalone from the main X-Men series and acts as an expansion to the lore of the X-men universe. The New Mutants will host a younger cast, including Maisie Williams, known for her role as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, and Anya Taylor-Joy, who recently graced our screens before lockdown as the titular character in Emma.
Despite this promising setup, the journey of The New Mutants was not an easy one. Having pitched the film in 2015 using panels from the original New Mutants comics written by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, Fox struck a deal with Boone to direct the film and its future sequels. Filming began in 2017 in Boston, at Medfield State Hospital, which was previously used as the location of Shutter Island, and is featured in Fallout 4‘s post-apocalyptic landscape. This location fits Boone’s vision of turning The New Mutants into the first horror movie inspired by Marvel comics. The first trailer was due to be released in October 2017, however, having previously been told by Fox to tone down the horror aspect of the film, the success of others in the horror genre at the time such as IT (2017) made Fox reconsider. They later approved Boone’s original vision of a full-blown horror and superhero hybrid, which led to the film getting scheduled for planned re-shoots throughout 2019; surprisingly these never took place.
This unique Breakfast club meets The Shining approach to superhero movies was not to everyone’s taste though. The Disney takeover of Fox hit post-production of The New Mutants hard with Disney suggesting it had “limited box office potential”. Disney aimed to bring a touch of MCU glamour in order lighten the tone of the film. Even though this had moved further away from Boone’s horror, it still stood as a standalone with Disney confirming it would not be a part of the MCU and have limited interaction with the existing X-Men universe.
The film was originally due for release in 2018, but was then pushed back in order make way for Fox’s tentpole releases, Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It was due to open in April this year but that date was also abandoned as cinemas around the world closed their doors in light of the pandemic. Now, it’s looking likely to be one of the first blockbusters to open post-lockdown alongside the much talked about Tenet as the film industry begins its long recovery, but was it the right decision to move it so far back in the first place? Only time will tell but I, for one, am excited to see how The New Mutants turns out.
The New Mutants, directed by Josh Boone is due for UK release on the 28th August 2020.
Catch the latest trailer below: