As a franchise that existed for 20 years and involved a revolving door of cast and crew members, Fox’s X-Men series was inevitably plagued by inconsistency. There were sequels, reboots, sequels to reboots, spinoffs and sequels to spinoffs, and as a result, the timeline got so chaotic that it ultimately became unexplainable and fans just ended up rolling with it instead of trying to make sense of it all.
Unbelievably, The New Mutants did finally make it into theaters, and while it might have been the biggest hit that the box office had seen in almost six months, reviews haven’t been particularly kind. Some people have even labeled it as the worst X-Men movie ever, which sounds harsh when you consider that Dark Phoenix is out there and still irredeemably awful. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t seem like all of the behind the scenes turmoil was worth it in the end.
Josh Boone’s horror-tinged comic book movie is definitely a part of the X-Men franchise though, even if it took so long getting here that it was the first title from the property to be released by Disney instead of the last to hail from Fox. And as such, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that it once again wreaks havoc with the timeline.
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The New Mutants includes footage from Logan, which would seem to indicate that both movies take place at roughly the same time, with Wolverine’s swansong set in 2029. However, Boone has confirmed that his story takes place in the present day, and the X-Men are mentioned in passing as still being around and active, which would make it seem clear that The New Mutants happens first. Despite this, however, Moonstar still experiences visions of the facility where X-23 was created, even though that technically hasn’t happened yet, which is where the scenes from Logan factor in.
As ScreenRant explains:
This is where the X-Men timeline gets scrambled again. Logan was set in the year 2029, in a world where Professor X had accidentally wiped out almost all of the X-Men team members a year previously. The New Mutants director Josh Boone has said that his movie takes place in the present day, and a discussion among the movie’s teen mutants confirms that the X-Men are still around and active. Moonstar has plenty of powers in the comics but none of them involve the ability to see the future; she is able to see the Transigen facility by pulling images from Dr. Reyes’ mind. So, how did scenes from a movie set a decade in the future end up in her vision?
Of course, The New Mutants doesn’t even try to explain this and just carries on as normal. Which is probably to be expected given both the timeline of the franchise and the huge overhaul that the movie was given before it finally got released.