After an extremely long delay, Josh Boone's The New Mutants will finally roll out in theaters on Friday, April 3. While many of us thought or assumed that the X-Men project (one started well before Disney's buyout of 20th Century Fox last March) kept getting pushed off because of extensive reshoots, that doesn't seem to be the case, according to Boone himself.
“Everybody said we did reshoots! We’ve never done reshoots,” the director told Entertainment Weekly late last month. “And I’ll tell you this: if there hadn’t been a merger, I’m sure we would’ve done reshoots the same way every movie does pickups. We didn’t even do that because by the time the merger was done and everything was settled, everybody’s older.”
"Everybody" is the ensemble of young actors who play a group of mutants attempting to escape from a sinister mental/medical facility. A year or two delay might not've affected your typical film reshoot quite as much, but with a cast this young, they tend to change quite a bit over that amount of time.
The real issue, it turns out, was the corporate merger, which saw the screen rights to Marvel's mutant characters (among others) returned to Marvel Studios. Now that the MCU could use the X-Men in its films, how could Disney release a totally unrelated Marvel flick? This dilemma caused some people to speculate whether the company would simply offload the movie onto Disney+ or Hulu.
“We had heard nothing because of the merger," continued Boone. “It was radio silence for about a year where we had no new information at all."
While he was waiting for some sort of decision, the filmmaker began pre-production on a new miniseries based on Stephen King's The Stand for CBS All Access. Finally, after a year of nothing, he got the Mouse House go-ahead.
“They called me right before I went to go make The Stand and said, ‘Would you come finish the movie?’ I said, ‘I would f—in’ love to come finish the movie!’," recounted Boone, who went on to reiterate that the film being released in theaters is totally the original vision he set out with.
"I was nervous when they were talking about reshooting or re-editing that it was gonna be very different, but honestly, it’s exactly what we set out to do," he admitted. “I think the nature of a bunch of teenagers being trapped at a facility, all with individual powers which they don’t know how to use yet or even summon, that lends itself really well to suspense and scary cuts. It’s all done in a very honest way and it really does come from the characters and the situations that they’re in. It’s not a happy, upbeat superhero comedy film. It’s definitely very dark."
The eponymous youngsters on display in the movie are: Wolfsbane (Maise Williams), Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy), Cannonball (Charlie Heaton), Sunspot (Henry Zaga), and Mirage (Blu Hunt). Alice Braga and Antonio Banderas co-star.
As we learned last week, The New Mutants (written by Boone and Knate Lee) is rated PG-13.