The film landscape has become stuffed with superhero flicks, but it’s highly unlikely that the studios are going to let up anytime soon. But 20th Century Fox is aware of the saturation and has taken steps to differentiate their movies not only from the competition but from their own output. The R-rated hits ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Logan’ were technically part of Fox’s ‘X-Men’ franchise, but the creators went to great lengths to make them their own unique entities. ‘Deadpool’ was an irreverent comedy with brutal violence, while ‘Logan’ mined emotional depths the likes of which have never been presented in a superhero flick. How will next year’s ‘New Mutants’, directed by Josh Boone, distinguish itself? It seems that this movie will take the superhero concept in the direction of horror.
Stacey Snider, the head of Fox Studios said:
“If we’re going to make a superhero movie, we have to ask ourselves: “What’s our version? What’s a Fox Marvel film? When you look at films like ‘Deadpool’ or ‘Logan’ or the upcoming ‘New Mutants’, you’ll see they have their own personality. Great effort has been put into making sure they’re differentiated. ‘New Mutants’ is about these teenagers who are just coming into their powers. It’s like watching mutants go through adolescence and they have no impulse control, so they’re dangerous. The only solution is to put them in a ‘Breakfast Club’ detention/’Cuckoo’s Nest’ institutional setting. It protects the people on the outside, but it’s strange and combustible inside. The genre is like a haunted-house movie with a bunch of hormonal teenagers. We haven’t seen it as a superhero movie whose genre is more like ‘The Shining’ than “we’re teenagers let’s save the world.”
It’s been rumored that ‘New Mutants’ will feature the nightmarish Demon Bear, from one of the earliest storylines in the ‘New Mutants’ comic book series. The blood-splattered logo above seems to support that, with what looks to be a small figure of Mirage/Danielle Moonstar (played by Blu Hunt) in a snowy landscape.
And even though the most recent ‘X-Men’ movies have presented adolescent versions of characters like Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and Quicksilver, it looks like ‘New Mutants’ will explore the minefield of adolescence even further. Boone should be well-suited for this, having already directed the YA adaptation ‘The Fault In Our Stars’. And of course, many of the best horror movies have featured teen characters as leads.
What do you think of a potential YA horror tale as part of the ‘X-Men’ universe?
‘New Mutants’ (or possibly ‘X-Men: New Mutants’), directed by Josh Boone, has wrapped production and is due in theaters on April 13, 2018. The film stars Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Alice Braga, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga and Blu Hunt.