The New Mutantstrailer has finally arrived, and it promises another genre entry into the universe that gave us the sad mutant western Logan.The New Mutantslooks unlike anything we’ve seen from the X-Men film universe before, and that’s why we dug through it, shot by shot, to break down all the hints, secrets and easter eggs within.
Be warned: this breakdown contains speculation that may border on spoilers.
New Mutants Characters
The trailer gives us good shots of each character, but doesn’t show any of them (obviously) using their powers.
We see Henry Zaga’s Sunspot – Roberto da Costa, the son of a wealthy Brazilian industrialist whose powers manifested in a fight with racist bullies in Rio. He absorbs solar radiation and uses that to amp up his strength a large degree.
Illyana Rasputin is Magik, the little sister of the X-Men’s Colossus. She’s played by Anya Taylor-Joy. In the comics, Magik teleports by using Limbo, a dimension that strongly resembles Hell and is full of demons, as a waypoint. She also spent about 10 years there, a captive of the demon Belasco, where she learned how to use actual magic, and has been Sorcerer Supreme of Earth’s dimension a few times in alternate futures. It’s unlikely that will get any story time in this movie, but we’re fairly confident her “strange” powers will show up.
Maisie Williams was the biggest name actor coming into this movie, and it looks like they had good reason for that. She’s playing Rahne Sinclair, Wolfsbane, a Scottish lycanthropic mutant raised by a religious fundamentalist to hate her abilities. We don’t see the Reverend Craig in the trailer (I believe), but he is in the movie, played by Happy Anderson, and I think the religious fundamentalist angle might have a role in the story as well.
Charlie Heaton plays Sam Guthrie, or Cannonball. He’s nigh invulnerable when he’s blastin’. He shoots around like a rocket, and projects a force field that protects him while he is in flight. He’s also salt of the earth Appalachian, part of a huge Kentucky family of Guthries who are all delightful in the comics.
Dr. Cecilia Reyes
Alice Braga plays Dr. Cecilia Reyes, in the comics a mutant trauma surgeon with an impenetrable force field. She’s working in a mental institution here, though, so I bet she’s not a surgeon.
Lastly, but I’m guessing most importantly, we have Mirage. Blu Hunt plays Danielle Moonstar, the eventual leader of the New Mutants, and the character who is the focus of the trailer.
New Mutants Story
We start in pretty obviously a mental institution, though advance news called it someplace to protect society from the mutants.
Dr. Reyes is asking someone (probably Mirage) if she’s ever hurt someone, and we see this flash of a graveyard filled with numbered markers. It bears a strong resemblance to the graveyard in “Days of Future Past,” which is an ominous start to the trailer. From there, we’re introduced to the characters, and the trailer plays up the horror angle strongly, so there are a couple of things worth mentioning that look like they may play into the story.
The first is that most of these kids’ powers can be played for horror pretty easily. Rahne’s power is literally being a werewolf, while Danielle’s powers involve her reaching into peoples’ minds and physically (or psionically) manifesting that which they fear the most. That is probably what’s going on here: Sam’s dad passes away in a coal mine accident not too long before he joins the team. He takes on the responsibility of providing for his family after that, but it looks like at some point he’s going to have to live through what he perceives to be his father’s death.
Also, Illyana’s power is her opening a portal to hell to teleport places, so I’m giving even money odds that this scene is immediately followed by her stepping out of the dryer like nothing happened.
The second quiet theme of the trailer is the religious fundamentalist angle. Rahne’s body language from the few scenes she’s in is reserved, timid, and terrified, and this is probably why: I bet that’s a member of The Right, either attacking someone or pulled out of Rahne’s memory.
The Right was Cameron Hodge’s group of anti-mutant extremists, who would attack mutants from their mech suits with smiley faces painted on the head. They were last seen working with the Purifiers, Reverend Stryker’s group of anti-mutant religious extremists, in X-Men: Second Coming.
The W brand is either Wolfsbane being super on-brand or some kind of torture inflicted on her for being a sinner.
Finally, the last theme is the coming of the Demon Bear. The Demon Bear is exactly what it says: a demon bear that feeds off of negative emotions and fear. In the comics, it killed Dani’s parents…
…so it’s really easy to believe that Danielle and her mutant powers could be blamed for the Demon Bear’s attacks. Note her bear pendant.
The story this movie is based on was Bill Sienkiewicz’s first arc on New Mutants, and one of the best X-Men comics of all time. Looking at the trailer, it seems like the film’s creators are on the right track in adapting the spirit of it.
New Mutants opens on April 13.
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