Why The New Mutants is a change in direction for X-Men movies

We preview the upcoming blockbuster and chat to its creators

Why The New Mutants is a change in direction for X-Men movies

In the past 20 years there have been 12 X-Men-related movies, some received better by audiences and critics than others. Now, with The New Mutants, the franchise is gearing up for the 13th. Unlucky for some, but probably not for 20th Century Studios and Marvel, which are expecting big things from the movie – billed as the first X-Men horror.

Directed by Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars) and written by Boone and Knate Lee (producer of Bad Grandpa) and is due to be released on September 10. 

Starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (Peaky Blinders), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), Alice Braga (The Shack), Blu Hunt (The Originals) and Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why), it centres on four young mutants who are being held in an isolated hospital for psychiatric monitoring.

A doctor keeps a close eye on them, believing they may be a danger to themselves and to society as she struggles to reign in their mutant powers. When a Dani Moonstar (Hunt) joins them, strange things start to happen and the hospital’s patients are plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks. Their abilities and friendships will be tested to the limit.

Producer Simon Kinberg produced six of the titles in the franchise, and director Boone knew he was the key to getting a New Mutants project off the ground.

“We wanted it to be a horror story, one that relayed the true horrors of being a teenager in search of themselves,” says Boone.

“He, above all people, understands  how much we have to push these movies to make them their own unique thing and to have their own unique identity.”

So, Boone and Lee pitched Kinberg a female-driven origins narrative for this instalment. “Although we incorporate similar themes from the comics, this is very much its’ own unique story,” says Boone. “Though there are references to the X-Men and our characters know who the X-Men are, this a standalone world where if you took these characters and tried to place them in another X-Men movie, they would seem like outsiders.”

Lee adds: “The New Mutants always stood out to us because the characters and their powers, as well as their back stories, were just a little bit more screwed up than the rest of the mainline X-Men, and translating their powers and their storylines really lent themselves more towards the horror genre.”

“The New Mutants is very much a coming-of-age story about young adults accepting what’s happened in their pasts so they can move forward into the future. We all have a history and past that we have to move beyond, and within this story we wanted to embrace that narrative which provides a strong emotional spine.” says producer Karen Rosenfelt.

The New Mutants is in cinemas on September 10. 

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