20th Century Fox has been scoring big with its ‘X-Men’ franchise, so it’s no wonder they are seeking to expand, what with the existing X-cast members aging and announcing plans to retire (Hugh Jackman). And what more suitable addition than ‘The New Mutants‘? This concept was the first X-Men spin-off series, featuring a new class of teenage mutants, following in the footsteps of the original team.
Josh Boone will be writing and directing the film, which is in the earliest form of development, so it will be a few years before this film graces the silver screen, but in the meanwhile, here’s a bit of info about the team and speculation as to which members will be utilized for the movie.
The five original New Mutants were: Danielle Moonstar/Mirage, a Cheyenne Native American who could bring to life her opponents’ worst nightmares; Sam Guthrie/Cannonball, a country boy from Kentucky who can fly while engulfed in a impenetrable protective energy field; Xi’an Coy Manh, a Vietnamese mutant with the power to telepathically possess her victims; Rahne Sinclair, a Scottish mutant– and ward of Professor Xavier’s colleague Moira McTaggert– who shifts into a wolf or a half-human/half-wolf hybrid; and Roberto Da Costa, from Brazil, who absorbs solar energy and converts it into super strength.
Soon, the original five were joined by additional members: Illyana Rasputin/Magik, the sister of Russian X-Man Colossus, who has the mutant power to teleport but is also trained as a powerful sorceress; Amara Aquilla, a citizen of a hidden kingdom called Nova Roma, made up of displaced denizens of ancient Rome, who could channel volcanic forces; Cypher, mousy Doug Ramsey who could comprehend any language; and Warlock, a techno-organic alien who could change his shape into almost anything.
Of course, as teams do, members rotated out and new members joined. Eventually, due to turmoil in the parent ‘X-Men’ series, the New Mutants lost their adult supervision and came under the leadership of time traveling mutant cyborg cable, who whipped the group into a more proactive strike team called X-Force.
Three characters connected to the New Mutants/X-Force have already appeared in ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past‘: Sunspot played by Adan Canto; Warpath played by Booboo Stewart; and Blink played by Bingbing Fan. Sunspot’s powers were altered, so that he projected fire instead of possessing super strength. Could any of these actors reprise their roles? Possibly. They’re all fairly young, so they should still be eligible to play teens.
Of the originals, a few would seem indispensable, mainly Dani Moonstar, Cannonball, Wolfbane and Magik, whose relationship with Colossus creates another bridge to the existing movie X-Men. (Also, Cannonball’s sister Paige also turns out to be a mutant, Skin and has been a member of Generation X and the X-Men proper.) Warlock could prove quite visually intriguing and if you have Warlock, you have to include Cypher, the only person on Earth capable of communicating with him.
But there have been many mutants who have served with some iteration of the team and who could be interesting in a movie. Here are just a few:
Boom Boom, a.k.a. Tabitha Smith was a trendy mallrat/runaway who could create “time bombs”, energy spheres that exploded after a three second delay. Her bubbly personality would add some flash, plus she has sometime walked the line between good and bad. Her dark side could prove an interesting plot twist.
Jamie Madrox, sometimes called Multiple Man, can create duplicates of himself that act autonomously and whose consciousness and memories merge with the original Madrox’s when they are re-assimilated. Okay, Madrox kind of appeared in a previous X-Men movie, but it was just a tiny gag cameo. A more fleshed out look at this character could be intriguing and the effect of having several of the same character would be both entertaining and easy to accomplish. (Technically, Madrox is part of X-Factor, but a teen version was included with the New Mutants on ‘X-Men: Evolution’.)
Rictor joined the team at the same time as Boom Boom and has the power to create earthquakes and vibrational blasts. Shatterstar hails from another dimension and is a master at hand-to-hand combat, especially with his special double bladed swords. Rictor was notable for his brash rebelliousness, while Shatterstar was typically a stoic warrior. And they’re a gay couple, which adds another level of diversity to the X-universe.
Syrin is the daughter of Banshee– in the movies, a part of ‘X-Men: First Class’. Like her father, she can scream in super sonic blasts and fly. She has served in a leadership role in the past and has had a long-running romance with Madrox, which could provide some sparks.
Of course in recent years, the X-Men’s school has opened up to scores of new young mutants, who all have potential to work on the big screen, like Armor, The Stepford Cuckoos and Quentin Quire.
What characters would you like to see as part of the big screen New Mutants?