With Marvel Studios continuing their successful run with their box of toys, 20th Century Fox is busy expanding the X-Men universe with the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, and a sequel to The Wolverine. But with the ‘First Class‘ team’s trilogy coming to an end, producers Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner have found a way to stretch their legs just a little further. It was recently announced that Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) will be directing and co-writing The New Mutants, a standalone spinoff that works within the X-Men universe.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “how can the man behind a sappy teen romance helm an X-Men property?” Boone has only directed two movies, both of them dramas, and has no ties to Marvel Comics, let alone Mutant lore. Fox must see something in him or The New Mutants must possess more dramatic character moments than action beats.
Perhaps the studio wants to tap into the Fault in Our Stars audience with a low budget approach? Fault ran on a $12 million budget and earned $307 million worldwide. Quite the feat for a director’s sophomore efforts. The Tumblr generation also could have played a hand into that, snowballing the buzz of the tragic tale of love and cancer.
Kinberg made a statement on their new development:
“We’re so excited to explore this new part of the X-Men universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters.”
A pretty generic message, but the key note to take away is “young characters.” We’ve seen a director go from small romance to big budget blockbuster before. Marc Webb’s first film (500) Days of Summer earned $65 million worldwide on a $7.5 million budget for Fox Searchlight and he went over to Sony to reinvent Spider-Man for a younger audience. Although The Amazing Spider-Man has made some money, it didn’t exactly do gangbusters like Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy.
For those unfamiliar with The New Mutants, the story follows a younger team created by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod in 1982 and where introduced in their own feature comic from 1983 until 1991. The series evolved into X-Force at the end of its run and was revitalized as The New Mutants in 2003 featuring a new batch of teenage mutants. Its main group consisted of Cannonball, Karma, Mirage, Sunspot, and Wolfsbane. Moviegoers have already met Sunspot last year in X-Men: Days of Future Past, along with another future New Mutant team member, Warpath. The roster has changed over the years, which have included Cypher, Magma, Magik, Warlock, Boom-Boom, Rusty Collins, Rictor, Skids, Domino, Feral, and Shatterstar. The comic also introduced the character Deadpool and tied in stories with Cable, the time-traveling, mutant son of Cyclops.
A release date has yet to be announced for The New Mutants, but we suspect it will be a few years away as Deadline states that Boone’s newest film, Lisey’s Story, is in the works and his next project, The Vampire Chronicles, a reboot based off the Anne Rice novels that sparked Interview with the Vampire, would follow. The Stand Would come after that and then The New Mutants. Fox does have an unspecified X-Men film marked for July 13, 2018, so we can assume that’s where this film may land.