There’s nothing more popular than superhero movies, right? Nothing is as surefire a hit as a film based on a comic book. So why the hell is The New Mutants having so much trouble making it to the big screen?
Disney announced A LOT today, including the new release date for Josh Boone’s The New Mutants, an X-Men spin-off that was greenlit by Fox several years ago. The film was originally going to be released in April of 2018. Then it was pushed back to February 2019. Then it was delayed until August 2019. And today Disney announced that it’ll (probably? Maybe?) see the light of day on April 3, 2020. That’s three damn years after its original release date. I hope nobody had tickets for the premiere.
What’s the reason for the fourth — and hopefully final — delay? Which one would you like to hear first? You see, the production was troubled from day one. Josh Boone, director of The Fault in our Stars and the upcoming The Stand mini-series, signed on to make a superhero horror film. Mutants was going to be decidedly unlike any other comic book film, featuring a lot of dread and horror as it explored young teens grappling with their terrifying powers. It was being billed as a mix between John Hughes and Stephen King. Great, right?
But Fox didn’t want things to be too scary. They have to market this to a large audience after all. However, that all changed when IT hit theaters and became a runaway success. As well, the first trailer for New Mutants was very well received by fans, who ate up the scary approach to a Marvel movie. Fox then wanted more horror and planned reshoots to let Boone run wild and add in the scares. However, rumor has it that the shoots never happened and the film has been waiting silently as Fox twiddled their thumbs. Then Fox got bought up by Disney, of course, complicating matters even more.
Many thought the movie would just be dumped onto Hulu or the upcoming Disney+ streaming service. And it’s very possible that still happens, Disney could change their mind about this latest release date. But it’s a damn shame if this movie never gets its day in theaters. Boone is a talented, enthusiastic filmmaker and one who was trying something new. As superhero films continue to dominate the box office, it’s important that someone shakes it up every once in awhile. It seems like Boone was attempting to do just that but because of Hollywood wishy-washiness and bad timing his movie is trapped in release date limbo. One hopes that April 3, 2020 will be the FINAL date for New Mutants but there’s a chance I could be writing an article just like this in a year.