As big as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is becoming, Fox has a playground just as big when it comes to the X-Men and all of their associated characters. The franchise has been going strong ever since the first film in 2000 and while it’s had the occasional misstep (we’re looking at you The Last Stand), today it looks like it’s stronger than ever. With so many different films in development, it’s possible the movies might start to get in each other’s way. It looks like Fox has some ideas on how to prevent this from happening. They'll market different films to different audiences.
While the standard X-Men films have been focused on the traditional action movie crowd, and Deadpool will be there for those who want to get a little edgy comedy in their action, the plan for the upcoming New Mutants movie is to focus on a different crowd. According to producer Simon Kinberg, speaking with Empire Magazine (via ComicBook), the film may be a better fit for fans of Katniss Everdeen than fans of Wolverine.
That’s more of a Young Adult movie.
While the Young Adult label may set many comic fans on edge, it’s far from surprising that Fox is going this route. First off, if they were going to turn any X-Men related title into a young adult film, the New Mutants are by far the ones to go with. The New Mutants are all teenagers, and even in the comics they’ve been filling a similar role. Also, for anybody who didn’t understand when Fox hired Josh Boone, the director of The Fault in Our Stars, to helm the New Mutants, now it makes perfect sense.
It makes good business sense too. The Young Adult movies based on novels have done mostly very well at the box office. From The Hunger Games to Divergent, these movies have been huge hits. If Fox can bring more of that audience into the theater for a New Mutants movie, and then get them to come back for the next X-Men feature, they can increase the size of the built-in audience even more.
Of course, if you’re not a fan of those sorts of movies, then it may have the opposite effect. It’s a gamble to be sure. The MCU has made a couple of features which had strong comedic aspects, but otherwise, the tone and structure of each film in the series has been very similar. Between X-Men, Deadpool, and New Mutants, Fox is looking to make significantly different films within its mutant universe. While it might bring more fans in, it might also turn off fans who aren’t into one or more of the genres.
What do you think of a Young Adult mutant movie? Is branching out into new arenas the right move, or a recipe for disaster?