The New Mutants is, at long last, set to make its debut in April – two whole years after its intended release. Indeed, the film was designed as a tonally off-beat expansion of Fox’s long-held X-Men movie rights, but Disney’s 2019 acquisition of the studio temporarily rendered it an abandoned oddity. However, director Josh Boone thinks the film still has something to offer, and, in a new interview with EW, dispels the long-held notion that it was subject to extensive reshoots.
Boone, also known as the director of 2014’s The Fault in Our Stars, finally dished about the delays that plagued The New Mutants movie, and, most importantly, directly addressed the reshoot rumors, which – besides giving the impression that the film was lacking in its first cut – implied a few (false) things, from the late addition of Jon Hamm as villain Mister Sinister to Daphne Keen appearing as her Logan character, Laura Kinney/X-23.
“Everybody said we did reshoots! We’ve never done reshoots.” Boone told EW. “And I’ll tell you this: if there hadn’t been a merger, I’m sure we would’ve done reshoots the same way every movie does pickups. We didn’t even do that because by the time the merger was done and everything was settled, everybody’s older.”
Nothing chums media waters about the state of a major production like reports of reshoots and the already-beleaguered New Mutants movie was dealt that mark back in early 2018 when it became clear that various delays would see the film miss its original April 2018 release date. By then, the Disney acquisition was a foregone conclusion, resulting in a finish line for Fox’s X-Men movies, leaving the Deadpool threequel in an uncertain state, and the June 2019 release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix as the swift swan song to the transformative film franchise that started with 2000’s original X-Men. Thus, the stylistically-experimental New Mutants also has to fight the (understandable) perception that it’s arriving as an afterthought.
Indeed, Boone’s clarification on the reshoots comes with the caveat that, barring the Disney merger, said reshoots would have actually taken place, albeit as pickups — a rather potent concession, since the film, from the start of principal photography back in July 2017, had been affected by purported creative conflicts as Boone’s vision of a straight horror movie rendition of the Marvel mutant property was mitigated by Fox studio meddling, a notion that seemed to further fuel the reshoot rumors. However, cast member Maisie Williams was the first to contradict the rumor in a March 2019 Rolling Stone interview.
As for the lengthy delay that followed said rumors, Boone reveals that the film was essentially dead in the water from the completion of principal photography back in September 2017 up until last year with Disney’s absorption of Fox, evidenced by the fact that the October 2017 teaser trailer could not show anything from the film’s second half, which still existed as a pile of dailies at that point. The director would spend the downtime developing – as writer/director – the CBS All Access TV rendition of Stephen King’s The Stand, which is set to arrive this year. However, before those cameras would roll, he was called back by (Disney’s) Marvel Studios to recut The New Mutants – apparently with a mandate for less references to the canonically ended Fox X-Men films – giving it new life as a theatrical release and rescuing it from what looked to be a straight-to-streaming fate.
“We had heard nothing because of the merger. It was radio silence for about a year where we had no new information at all,” Boone said. “When they called me right before I went to go make The Stand and said, ‘Would you come finish the movie?’ I said, ‘I would f—in’ love to come finish the movie!’”
Regardless, the upcoming release of The New Mutants will be a milestone, showcasing the live-action debut of Marvel Comics’ 1982 X-Men spinoff series, following the classic coming-of-age exploits of younger misfit mutants, except put through a more insular horror movie lens and set in a nightmarish facility. Despite being stultified by Marvel Cinematic Universe prospects, Boone thinks the film will stand on its own merit and will bring some uniquely intriguing elements like the live-action debut of miniature purple companion dragon Lockheed.
The New Mutants hits theaters on April 3.