Fox just whammied everyone with the announcements that it was moving the release dates of three of its upcoming X-movies. Pushing ‘Gambit’ back was no real surprise, since the film, which is due to begin production in March, just lost its director. But two of the adjusted movies were expected in theaters within the next several months. ‘Untitled Deadpool Sequel’ (which I honestly think is its real title now) was bumped up by a few weeks, from June 1 to May 18, reportedly to avoid going head-to-head with ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. A rather late adjustment, but once again, understandable.
The biggest shock involved ‘New Mutants’ being pushed back almost an entire year! This film was supposed to arrive before ‘Deadpool 2’, yet now it’s been moved from its original release date of April 13, 2018 to February 22, 2019. With the film due out within months, the publicity machine was already churning, with trailers and other bits of promotion released. Initial reports indicated that it was because with the ‘Deadpool’ move, both Fox X-Men movies would be in theaters in foreign markets at the same time, thus competing with themselves. And to be honest, a proven powerhouse like ‘Deadpool’ would have crushed the experimental ‘New Mutants’ which is both a new property and is pushing into a new genre, horror.
The Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider says that horror-theme is part of the reason for the release date change.
“Word on the street is that after the film tested well but not great, the studio decided to actually embrace the film’s horror elements and beef up the scares in the wake of the success of It and Get Out last year.”
Indeed, both those movies were among the biggest hits of last year but were also embraced by critics, with ‘Get Out’ being nominated for two Golden Globes. It appears that the often dismissed genre of horror is undergoing a bit of a renaissance.
Even though director Josh Boone has stated that ‘New Mutants’ is inspired by “rubber room” horror films, perhaps that was just the foundation for a more traditional superhero movie. (Only those in the test audience know for sure.) With horror movies upping their game, perhaps it’s a good idea for Fox and Boone to take the time to rise to that bar by increasing the frights.
Are you disappointed that ‘New Mutants’ has been delayed for such a lengthy period of time? Or do you hope that the delay will result in a scarier film?
Directed by Josh Boone, ‘The New Mutants’ stars Alice Braga, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, and Henry Zaga. The film is set for release on April 13, 2018.