No, The New Mutants Was Never Going To Be Rated R

Mirage frightened by wall faces in The New Mutants

As evidenced by the release of a new trailer yesterday, The New Mutants, the long-awaited comic book movie that will mark the true end of the Fox X-Men era, is still being released in theaters (as opposed to being shelved or moved to a streaming service). One of the ways it stands out from other fare from the same genre is by delving into the horror genre pool, but if you think that means The New Mutants will be rated R, you have another thing coming. Here’s what director Josh Boone had to say about his movie’s rating:

The movie has always been and will always be PG-13. There was never a plan for an R-rated movie.

When it comes to horror movies, more often than not you can expect them to walk away with R ratings for something like graphic violence and/or heavy profanity. But there are occasionally instances where a horror movie gets away with being rated PG-13, and it looks like The New Mutants will fall into that category. Furthermore, as Josh Boone revealed on Instagram ahead of the new New Mutants trailer’s release, the plan was never for it to be rated R.

So rather than follow in the footsteps of fellow X-Men spinoffs like Deadpool and Logan, The New Mutants will be another PG-13 mutant-led offering. Back in October 2018, producer Simon Kinberg acknowledged that it’s the kind of movie that could go R or be a “hard PG-13,” and also noted how its young cast could play into the final decision. Now, over a year later and just several months until The New Mutants is finally released, we know this will be a “Parents Strongly Cautioned” kind of movie, rather than being full-blown “Restricted.”

Keep in mind that just because The New Mutants will be rated PG-13 doesn’t mean it won’t be packed with scares. Movies like Lights Out and A Quiet Place have proven over the years that you can still be a frightening tale while being more accessible to younger viewers in a theatrical setting. That doesn’t guarantee The New Mutants’ overall quality, but judging by the previews, it certainly doesn’t look like it's lacking in uniqueness.

It’s been a long road to The New Mutants’ release. Originally it was supposed to come out in April 2018, before Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix, both of which have since come and gone. The movie’s delay has been primarily been attributed to reshoots, although Josh Boone said in that same Instagram post that the version of The New Mutants being presented to the masses is the original, i.e. only containing the footage shot during principal photography, no reshoots whatsoever.

Set inside a secret and sinister facility, The New Mutants follows five young mutants (Magik, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, Sunspot and Mirage) who must rely on their abilities to escape captivity. While there was talk about making New Mutants sequels should this first movie be successful, given how Fox is now under the Disney umbrella and there are plans in motion to someday introduce X-Men characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, officially speaking, it remains to be seen if The New Mutants narrative could continue in the future or if this will indeed be a one-and-done story.

The New Mutants comes out on April 3, and if you’re curious about what other movies will hit the silver screen over the next 12 months, browse through our 2020 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.