A look into that missing Marvel horror movie that was supposed to be in cinemas this weekend
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The trailer was pretty great, the cast was spectacular, the director is very hot right now. And yet, no movie.
On Friday 13 October in 2017, 20th Century Fox released the first (and, to date, only) trailer for their latest Marvel movie.
In the previous 12 months, they'd had some pretty great successes with their more "adult"-skewed superhero movies, thanks to the likes of Deadpool and Logan, and they were looking to continue that success with The New Mutants, a horror movie set within the X-Men Universe, and the trailer succeeded in showing off that unique genre vibe:
Clip via 20th Century Fox
Directed and co-written by Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars), and starring Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), Maisie Williams (Game Of Thrones), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), and Alice Braga (I Am Legend), it told the story of a group of mutants who were being held in a secret facility and being tested upon by an evil head nurse.
The movie was all set to be released in April 2018, but that was then pushed back so as not to clash with Deadpool 2's release date, and the movie was then set for release in February 2019.
Additionally, the reaction to the horror angle from the trailer was so strong with viewers that Boone and 20th Century Fox agreed to some reshoots in order to make the movie even scarier.
Then X-Men: Dark Phoenix had its release date pushed to February 2019 (additional reshoots would push it back again to June), and The New Mutants got pushed again, to 2 August 2019 (i.e., this weekend), and Collider reported that the reshoots were more extensive than originally thought, with Fox apparently ordering as much as half of the entire movie to be reshot.
These new reshoots then caused the entire antagonist for the movie to be changed, as originally Jon Hamm was set to be revealed as Mister Sinister, and he was to be replaced by Antonio Banderas in a still-unconfirmed villainous role.
Boone remained positive about the changes, telling IGN that "audiences really embraced the notion of a superhero movie or a comic book movie that was, in its core, a horror film." This was ahead of the proposed reshoots set to take place in September 2018.
In March 2019, almost two full years since principal photography had finished, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the reshoots had still not taken place. In May 2019, producer Simon Kinberg (director of X-Men: Dark Phoenix) told Digitial Spy that "we've got to wait until [the cast] get off their shows and they can all be in the same place at the same time."
Since then, Glass has been released, a movie about super-powered individuals being held in a secret facility and being tested upon by an evil head nurse. That movie also happened to star Anya-Taylor Joy, for full Venn Diagram effect.
Maisie Williams - Arya Stark herself! - was 18 when she began working on the project. She's now 22.
According to The Tracking Board, the movie had no less than FOURTEEN different writers working on the script, which is probably the scariest thing of all. The last time we had a superhero movie that tried to go darker and ended up in post-production limbo for this long, we got Josh Trank's take on Fantastic Four, one of the biggest critical and commercial flops in recent memory.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix came and went, making less than half the previous lowest box office within the X-Men Universe in U.S. cinemas. That movie left a bad taste in viewers mouths, all of whom now know that Disney will give the series the (re)boot up the behind it needs.
So what now? Will we ever get to see this movie?
Well, as it stands, the movie is set for cinematic release on 3 April 2020, but with reshoots still to take place, who knows if that will happen? Instead, with the arrival of new streaming service Disney+ this November, there is every chance that the current, less-horrorified version will just end up being dumped on there instead.
As Williams herself put it: "Who knows when the fuck that's gonna come out?"
If nothing else, The New Mutants will definitely be a must-watch, if for nothing more than curiosity, whenever and wherever it ends up being released.
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