As part of its effort to grow the X-Men into an expansive cinematic universe, Fox has inked a deal with The Fault in Our Stars helmer Josh Boone to co-write and direct The New Mutants, a standalone spinoff that will introduce a new generation of exceptionally gifted youngsters who could potentially join forces with the X-Men in future films.
Knate Gwaltney, a supervising producer on Loiter Squad who wrote the upcoming thriller Kidnap, will co-write the pic.
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Though Boone, who made his debut with romantic drama Stuck in Love, may seem like an odd choice to delve into superhero territory, he’s been a hot commodity for years now and is hard at work over at Warner Bros. on an ambitious, multi-film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. The helmer reached out to King and became friendly with the writer, who also set Boone to work on an adaptation of Lisey’s Story. The helmer’s willingness to jump into such a huge blockbuster property likely helped to convince execs he could play in Fox’s X-Men sandbox.
Understandably, Boone’s busy schedule means that The New Mutants is still a while off. He’s currently following up The Fault in Our Stars (another youth-centric hit that undoubtedly played a role in Fox handing over the keys to the X-Men kingdom) with Universal’s reboot of the Anne Rice vampire novels, tentatively titled The Vampire Chronicles. Then, his years of hard work developing The Stand will pay off as he shoots that dark fantasy epic with an all-star cast. The New Mutants is on deck after that.
Simon Kinberg, a key player on all Fox’s major superhero properties, is attached to produce alongside Lauren Shuler Donner, and offered the following:
“We’re so excited to explore this new part of the X-Men universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters.”
Fox was savvy to snap up Boone for a superhero movie – Sony and Marvel were reportedly also eyeing him for the Spider-Man movie they’re currently casting, but the director’s commitment to Fox means he’ll likely have to pass on that commitment-heavy gig.
The New Mutants is based on an existing part of the X-Men comic universe, though how closely the film adaptation will stick to the source material remains to be seen. They first appeared in a 1982 issue of Marvel Graphic Novel and the original lineup included Cannonball (Samuel Guthrie), a Kentucky man who could fly through the air at high speeds and become invulnerable while in this state; Karma (Xi’an Coy Manh), a 19-year-old Vietnamese girl with the ability to step into and control other people’s minds; Mirage (Danielle Moonstar, originally codenamed Psyche), a Cheyenne who could create visual empathic three-dimensional illusions; Sunspot (Roberto da Costa), a Brazilian whose photosynthetic properties gave him super strength during the day (when the sun was out) and at night (when he could use energy stored up over the course of the day); and Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair), a Scottish werewolf.
No word yet on which, if any, of those characters will be in Boone’s take.