While its constant delays have become something of an internet joke, The New Mutants may actually have dodged a bullet by unintentionally waiting out the downfall of Dark Phoenix. Speaking with Empire Magazine for the outlet's May 2020 issue, New Mutants director/co-writer Josh Boone admitted that he now feels less nervous about how his X-Men movie will connect with audiences.
"Look, you can only go up after Dark Phoenix," he said. "That’s not to say anything bad about the people involved, but it was what it was. Honestly, I feel less pressure now than I did ahead of [the first slated release date]. Because we’ve tested our movie so many times, and audiences have loved it.”
"In a weird way, I think the delay's been good for us," added Knate Lee, Boone's co-screenwriter on the comic book-inspired project. "Last year, I saw the most epic, grand-scale superhero movie ever [Avengers: Endgame]. You can't go bigger than that. So, it feels like the perfect time for a superhero movie that's more intimate and claustrophobic."
Last week, Entertainment Weekly ran a number of interview stories in which Boone debunked a number of rumors and theories about the movie. For instance, he revealed that no reshoots took place, Antonio Banderas will not appear in a cameo role, and the plot features an LGBTQ love story between Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams) and Mirage (Blu Hunt).
Set at a sinister sanitarium run by Alice Braga's Cecilia Reyes, The New Mutants tells the story of "kids that are too dangerous for Professor X's school," Boone explained to Empire. Inspired by spine-tingling cinematic classics like The Shining, the director set out to make Marvel's first overt horror film, which meant pulling no punches with the backstories of the young characters.
“They’re misfits, outcasts, and rebels," the filmmaker continued. "They don’t want to be X-Men: they’re just scared, fucked-up kids. They’re all guilty of murder — whether intentionally or unintentionally. They’ve been sent ere to learn to control their powers."
"We still have so many 'firsts': we're the first Marvel horror, we're the first to feature a gay relationship. Even though we're late...we still beat everybody," Lee concluded.
The New Mutants was finally going to hit theaters on Friday, April 3, but was delayed once again due to coronavirus concerns. The film's incredibly bumpy road to the screen has had some fans wondering if Disney should just release it on VOD and/or Disney+/Hulu while everyone is staying at home.