Marvel’s ‘New Mutants’ heads to April, no fooling…..

After a long wait and trouble behind-the-scenes, Marvel's 'The New Mutants' debut in April...

Not all Marvel movies glide to the screen with the speed and efficiency of some recent blockbusters. We’ve covered The New Mutants as a viable release for over two years and it’s nearly been ‘completed’ that long with no release in sight. Originally due to be released by Fox on 13th April 2018, The New Mutants then had its due-date pushed back all the way to February 2019 which then got shifted to ‘sometime in 2020′ and now seems to have settled on April 2020… with a new trailer continuing to promote a distinctly creepy tone, now with additional flashes of the kids’ traditional source-material ‘powers’… 

Originally released as a graphic-novel spin-off from the X-Men comic in the early 1980s, The New Mutants detailed a group of younger children who had developed mutant abilities and were being taught by Professor X when the original team went missing.For a while it trundled along as a sister-title, even when the X-Men returned, but when artist  Bill Sienkiewicz came aboard, his illustrations became more surreal and the stories  (and art) started to push more creative boundaries. 

Rumours are that the film reflects some of that style, perhaps drawing on the story in which the kids are hunted by the supernatural. Directed by The Fault in our Stars helmer Josh Boone (who is also helming the new version of Stephen King’s The Stand) the new film takes a similar idea of ‘learning to use your abilities’ but without such a distinct link to the X-Men. Instead it goes for a horror vibe with a group of kids held in an isolated and rather sinister hospital because of their powers and how they plan their escape. Those familiar with the comic will recognise some of the characters and the actors portraying them – as seen in the homage to the famous ‘Highway to HellAC/DC cover above. Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams takes the role of Rahne Sinclair, a young Catholic girl who thinks her lycanthropic transformation is the work of evil forces, Split’s Anya Taylor Joy is Illyana Rasputin a character who, in the comics, was kidnapped by actual demons and raised in a hell dimension before being rescued and using her powers  – combined with magic – against evil.  Charlie Heaton – seen most recently in Stranger Things – plays Sam Guthrie. Blu Hunt plays Native American Danielle Moonstar whose psychic abilities and horrifying visions may be the pivot of the story. Alice Braga and Henry Zaga also feature. It’s not clear if the film will firmly take place in the Fox version of the X-Men universe, the main marvel Universe or something separate.

The delays in the release of the film, combined with apparently extensive reshoots over the past year or so and the complications over studio sales / Marvel‘s character-rights all seemed to have played a part in speculation that there were major problems and in the quality of the result. Rumours were of a battle between a PG13 rating and a possible ‘R’-rated release. (Boone claimed this week that the film was never intended for an R rating). There was also recent talk of it bypassing a theatrical release entirely.

Cinema audiences will get to decide for themselves in April…