In a feeling shared by those of us who sat through X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: Apocalypse, the characters of The New Mutants simply don’t care about the X-Men. Of the three X-Universe films due for release in 2018 – Dark Phoenix, Deadpool 2 and The New Mutants – the latter looks the most interesting, as it’s a straight horror story about mentally unstable teenage mutants struggling to control their powers.
But though they may be having a tough time now, surely it’s the ambition of every mutant to one day don the followed X-uniform, right? Well, apparently not, as in an interview with USA Today, director Josh Boone said the following:
These kids could care less about being X-Men. They’re so (messed) up and have had such horrible things happen, they’re just trying to figure out how to get out of this situation. We just tried to pull this back and make it performance- and character-driven, and more grounded and credible than X-Men movies ever are.
Given that there’s a very good chance that the Disney/Fox merger will see the end of the universe that began back in 2000 with the original X-Men, these projects could be the swansong for the current incarnation of Marvel’s mutants. And, while the quality has been mixed, I’ve at least appreciated Fox’s willingness to experiment with what you can do with the property. After all, they’ve given us the surprise smash-hit Deadpool, the transcendentally brilliant Logan and the deeply unconventional and surreal Legion on TV.
Now, The New Mutants looks set to continue in that vein, with the gigantic X-Men blockbusters giving context rather than governing plot and character. As a huge horror and X-Men fan, I really hope it succeeds – partly because Boone apparently has plans to expand the movie into a bona fide trilogy. Who knows, maybe the film’s relative distance from the rest of the franchise could even be its salvation, maybe allowing for it to be retroactively slotted into the MCU?
One way or another, we’ll know more soon, as The New Mutants is due out in just a couple of months, on April 13th.