Despite being named after one X-Men spinoff team, the New Mutants movie is more like an x-factor. We don’t know how it’s going to be (despite the insistence that it’s coming at the end of August). We don’t know when it’s actually going to get released. We don’t know what Marvel superhero reality it’s going to take place in. We aren’t 100% sure if it’s going to be in theaters at all or just get thrown onto Disney+ or Hulu. We don’t even know if its potential success will even matter due to the bizarre nature of its existence.
On the other hand, if New Mutants does somehow work out as a hit and it’s allowed to keep going – and the cast haven’t hit middle-age by the time of its release – we at least know how it would work as a trilogy. Josh Boone, the director and co-writer of New Mutants, recently spoke to Collider about his vision for what a New Mutants trilogy would look like.
Right now, all we know about the basics for the first movie. A group of mutant teens (Cannonball, Magik, Moonstar, Sunspot, and Wolfsbane) are stuck in a secret facility and are troubled by a demon bear, creepy Smiley Men, and whatever else is going on. If New Mutants sets the world on fire, there’s a chance the sequel could give us psychic member Karma and oddball alien shapeshifter Warlock.
While New Mutants 2 would be about an alien invasion (presumably the Technarchy and/or Phalanx), New Mutants 3 would be based on the big X-Men late-80s event Inferno.
“I think everybody just needs to see what happens with this one, see if it catches on or not. But we did always have a plan to do a second movie set in Brazil but it’d be Warlock and Karma introduced, and then a third one that utilized the Inferno crossover series from X-Men in the 90s which was one of my favorites growing up, that I thought was in the same tonal ballpark as doing horror stuff in each one. Each one was sort of a different horror movie – the second was gonna be an alien invasion movie and then the third one was gonna be like a Magik, Anya [Taylor-Joy]-related Inferno one. We were ambitious in our minds.”
Inferno was a fragmented story that took place over the course of various X-books with a few non-mutant hero tie-ins. While there were roles involving Jean Grey clone Madelyne Pryor and Mr. Sinister, the relevant parts of the plot involved two demons named S’ym and N’astirh who planned to exploit New Mutants member Magik and cause an invasion from Limbo (basically Hell. Let’s be honest). During the time of the story where demons have full-on taken over Manhattan, the weird attempts by its citizens to try and ignore the carnage and go on with their normal lives amidst the apocalyptic horrors does…kind of hit close to home so many decades later, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, much like Marvel’s classic anthology series about alternate realities, cinematic Inferno will probably be a big “what if.” New Mutants was pushed forward originally due to 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movies succeeding when they tried to get experimental and different (ie. Deadpool and Logan) and spinning off from the core Xavier/Magneto/Mystique ensemble pieces. The teen horror movie concept had people interested, but then it got pulled back again and again and again to the point that it’s become the Duke Nukem Forever of comic book movies.
Then Disney bought Fox and New Mutants became the whimpering final breath of the Fox X-Men franchise. But is it? As New Mutants has few direct ties to the X-Men movies before it (they could easily ignore Magik being Colossus’ little sister), they could just as easily claim that it takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, giving us our first official use of mutants in that continuity.
Disney is pushing back just about everything on their plate, but insists that New Mutants will be out on August 28. I’ll believe it when I see it, but it’s possible that they might just want to finally get the long-finished product out the door and see what kind of business it does with movie theaters potentially soft-opening. Some people are straight-up starved for the cinematic experience and will presumably watch just about anything on the big screen despite the danger of COVID.
Throwing Wolfsbane to the wolves and seeing what happens might not be the worst strategy. Save Mulan and Black Widow for after the recon.