It's a real shame that Fox pushed off The New Mutants until next year. Based on the trailer, the movie (directed by The Fault in Our Stars' Josh Boone) looked like the first X-Men film with elements of the horror genre. Still, it's better that 20th Century Fox get it right than rush it into theaters. The next best thing is Fox's The Darkest Minds, an X-Men meets YA fiction project from filmmaker Jennifer Yuh Nelson, a storyboard artist on HBO's Spawn animated series and co-director of Kung Fu Panda 3.
The first trailer for Minds was released today, and it's hard not to find the movie a bit derivative, not only of the X-Men franchise, but of the Hunger Games and Maze Runner (another Fox property), as well with just a dash of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (yet another Fox property). Not even producing credits for Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) and Dan Levine (Arrival) can do away with the lingering odor of yesterday's persecuted mutants.
But it's still a tad unfair to judge a movie that's still five months away. Watch the trailer below and make a decision for yourself...
Based on Alexandra Bracken's 2012 novel of the same name, The Darkest Minds takes place in a world where a strange disease has killed off a good chunk of the children in America. Those who survived now find they have special abilities and must be sent to a government-run rehabilitation facility called Thurmond. Amandla Stenberg (Rio 2) stars as Ruby Daly, one of these special kids, who escapes from Thurmond and teams up with others just like her. They travel to a haven for young people called East River while also gearing up for a fight against the government.
In terms of star power, the kids are virtually unknown, with Mandy Moore and Gwendoline Christie pulling most of the high-profile weight as a government doctor and a bounty hunter, respectively. Bracken also wrote three more books in the series — Never Fade, In The Afterlight, and Through The Dark — which means this is a potential film franchise waiting to happen if the first installment makes enough at the box office this summer.
In any case, check out the Banksy-esque first poster for the movie:
The Darkest Minds arrives in theaters August 3. Do you think it will kick off a new sci-fi franchise or fizzle and disappear under the shadow of its obvious influences?