Arriving this week in physical theaters is The New Mutants, the last X-Men movie produced under the 20th Century Fox banner before Disney bought its rival studio and absorbed all its film properties, including the Marvel franchises previously optioned by Fox.
Based on the comics created in 1982 by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bob McLeod, The New Mutants tells the story of five young mutants (played by Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, and Charlie Heaton), each with their own powers. They are being held in a secret facility against their wills and seek a way to escape, all while discovering the extent of their abilities.
While The New Mutants is technically a spin-off of Fox’s main X-Men movies (the last of which, Dark Phoenix, arrived last year), director and co-writer Josh Boone intended to give it its own feel — specifically, that of a horror movie. But plans were also afoot to connect the fledgling team to the larger universe of the X-Men through the time-honored tradition of the post-credits sequence.
Since the movie was shot way back in 2017 and kept on the shelf while the Disney/Fox merger played itself out, rumors have circulated about what kind of post-credit scene was planned. In a Zoom interview with Den of Geek, Boone told us that one such rumor — that Mad Men star Jon Hamm would show up as infamous Marvel villain Mister Sinister — was not far off the mark at all.
“Before we knew about the merger, we always planned out our post-credit scene introducing Mister Sinister,” says Boone. “At the time, I think the studio had maybe had a conversation with Jon Hamm, or something like that. So during the production of the movie, they were like, ‘Oh, can’t be Mr. Sinister anymore.’ I can’t even remember the legality or the reason.” (Reportedly it was because Mister Sinister was instead going to be repurposed for the since-abandoned Gambit movie.)
Boone said that his replacement post-credits scene was instead going to feature Emmanuel de Costa, the father of Roberto da Costa/Sunspot (played in The New Mutants by Zaga), and the Hellfire Club in a sequence that would have set up a second movie as an alien invasion thriller set in the Da Costas’ native Brazil. “I had a couple of conversations with Antonio Banderas,” he says about who would have possibly played Sunspot’s dad.
Boone adds that a third movie would have been based on Inferno, the 1989 crossover comics event that spanned the entire company’s output but was mainly featured in Uncanny X-Men, The New Mutants, X-Factor, and other X-Men-related lines. According to Boone, the movie would have finally brought the New Mutants and X-Men together in the famous storyline about a war with demonic forces that break out of Limbo to unleash hell on Earth.
“It was going to be a crossover between our stuff and X-Men using all the demonic, satanic horror of Inferno,” explains Boone. “Which was even then in the comic, totally focused in a lot of ways on Illyana (Rasputin, a.k.a. Magik, played in The New Mutants by Taylor-Joy), so it kind of works perfectly for us.”
Of course, all those ideas for a New Mutants trilogy are now seemingly lost in development hell: with Disney’s takeover of Fox, all the X-Men properties going forward will fall under the creative direction of Marvel Studios, which has its own plans for how to reboot the mutants and integrate them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether we see the New Mutants characters again in the MCU, the movie coming out this week is a kind of an orphan — ironically just like many of the New Mutants themselves.
Watch for more this week from our interview with Josh Boone. The New Mutants is out in theaters this Friday (August 28).