With the release of the first trailer for New Mutants last week (fittingly debuting on Friday the 13th), it is clear that director Josh Boone wants to try something new with the X-Men franchise. By scaling the action down to a supernatural horror thriller, the project looks like it could mark the beginning of an entirely new corner of the mutant universe. In fact, Boone recently opened up and confirmed that New Mutants is the first installment in a planned trilogy of X-Men horror films. The director explained:
We brought it to FOX as a trilogy of films, really all based on that long run by Sienkiewicz, and kind of incorporates some stuff from later issues in the '80s. These are all going to be horror movies, and they're all be their own distinct kind of horror movies. This is certainly the 'rubber-reality' supernatural horror movie. The next one will be a completely different kind of horror movie. Our take was just go examine the horror genre through comic book movies and make each one its own distinct sort of horror film. Drawing from the big events that we love in the comics.
The folks behind New Mutants have very clearly framed it as a horror movie, but it is a specific type of horror movie. Drawing inspiration from claustrophobic supernatural horror films like The Shining (there also seems to be some DNA from Hellbound: Hellraiser II, as well as A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), the film will kick off a trilogy of Marvel-themed horror films that each bring a new spin to the scary superhero genre. New Mutants is Josh Boone's take on the haunted house trope (inspired in part of by The Demon Bear Saga), and he told IGN the next two installments will apparently evolve the horror theme by examining different subgenres.
Josh Boone's comments about the plans for the New Mutants property seem to line up with everything that we have previously learned about this creepy X-Men project. Unlike films like X-Men: Days of Future Past or X-Men: Apocalypse, New Mutants will not necessarily center around a group of heroes struggling to save the world from omnipotent and evil forces. Instead, it will take a much more grounded (relatively speaking) approach to its Marvel characters and focus more closely on a group of hormonal teenagers trying to keep their otherworld abilities in check.
For a more in-depth look at the first installment in this planned trilogy of mutant horror films, take a look at the official New Mutants trailer, below.
Placing such a strong emphasis on an examination of the horror genre certainly seems to bode well for New Mutants when we consider the fact that this model has worked for other comic book movies in recent years. Specifically, projects like Logan or the Captain America films have worked because they co-opt genres (western and political thriller in those cases) and inject superheroes into them. Horror movies are particularly hot at the moment (especially coming off of films like IT and Annabelle: Creation), which means Josh Boone's take on a New Mutants trilogy could be debuting at exactly the right time.