In the shadow of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a ton of upcoming movie releases were recently postponed. Since many people in the United States have been asked to stay home to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, last weekend also became the lowest weekend for the domestic box office in over 20 years. It’s also been announced that many movies theaters are closing down until further notice during this national emergency. It’s bummer news all around, but there could be a silver lining for the future of Josh Boone’s The New Mutants.
The New Mutants is 20th Century Fox’s last X-Men movie. It was filmed almost three years ago, before Disney acquired Fox for $52.4 billion. The X-Men comic book property has since been handed over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where Kevin Feige plans to integrate mutants into his franchise. The New Mutants was finally expected to hit theaters on April 3, but along with Mulan and now Black Widow, audiences are going to have to wait for The New Mutants again, and that might be a good thing.
The New Mutants Cursed History Of Delays
Before we get into why The New Mutants might benefit from its series of delays, let’s talk through what it's been to begin with. The movie was originally supposed to hit theaters in spring 2018. Due to Deadpool 2 moving its release date up a couple weeks to compete with The New Mutants, the horror-influenced X-Men movies was delayed. There were also rumored reshoots in place at multiple time periods, but they never happened because by the time they could have been accomplished, the Disney/Fox merger had already taken place and the actors had grown older.
But then it happened again. Rumor has it that extensive reshoots were supposed to take place in late September 2018 also, so it was moved to August 2019. In light of the Disney acquisition, The New Mutants was moved again to April 2020. It was also rumored Disney executives were “unimpressed” with The New Mutants. But hey, it still had a theatrical release! The studio prepared to completely throw it away. As director Josh Boone recently explained, no reshoots ever happened, but it was edited with new eyes since there was a year-long gap between since it was initially cut together.
This Extended Wait Has Built Up Anticipation & Lowered Expectations
I don’t know about you, but as The New Mutants has continued to be moved again and again, my curiosity for the film has continued to peak. Does it even exist? And if it’s that bad and no major changes were made to the project, what exactly is wrong with it? The movie has an interesting concept to it. Based on the ‘80s comic book arc Demon Bear, the teen mutants are trapped in a secret facility against their will because of their dangerous powers. In an overstuffed Hollywood landscape of comic book films, it seems like a very different take on the genre.
Is it a dumpster fire or is it better than Disney seems to be giving it credit for? It may not be Avengers: Endgame level, but I don’t think anyone is expecting that out of The New Mutants. But then what is it? There’s more questioning around that now. The fact of the matter is the longer The New Mutants has been on the lips of movie fans and reported on, it feels as though there is more anticipation for the movie than ever. Is the anticipation massive? No, but the mere fact that more people are talking about it than two years ago will perhaps give way to a larger audience.
The Stars Of The New Mutants Are More High-Profile Now
Another factor to think about is the stars at the center of The New Mutants. When the movie was originally set to be released back in 2018, interest wasn’t as high for some of the core talent like it is now. Maisie Williams is undeniably the biggest name to come to the delayed film, but now the 22-year-old actress is no longer making Game of Thrones. The show is over and viewers surely miss Arya Stark. There’s usually much more interest surrounding a star after they finish their popular role, and audiences are hungry.
Let's also remember Charlie Heaton from Stranger Things. The Netflix series just gets bigger and bigger with every season, and the following for the show has continued to grow as the seasons have gone on. Heaton is much more marketable than he would have been a couple years ago, and as fans wait for Stranger Things Season 4, interest only grows for the young actor. And finally, Anya Taylor-Joy is really starting to blow up. Sure, she had The Witch and Split back when she made The New Mutants, but she’s since been in Glass and Emma, and will star in Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho later this year. This star power can only help The New Mutants audience.
Will The New Mutants Find A Home On Home Streaming?
So maybe The New Mutants' recent delay will benefit the movie. Although, we should manage expectations at this point about whether the X-Men movie will ever actually hit the big screen. Disney movies like Mulan and Black Widow rely on the theatrical experience and will likely still find new release dates once the dust clears and theaters start to open up. But right now, movie studios are rolling out more movies on streaming so self-isolated audiences can still consume their content.
Universal recently announced recent releases The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma would soon be available on digital early. Trolls: World Tour will be available to purchase online on the same day it was to hit big screens. Warner Bros just moved up the digital release of Birds of Prey. If Disney has to roll out one or two new titles on digital or streaming in the next few weeks, it feels like The New Mutants is toward the top of the list. And with audiences looking for all the new content they can find, if New Mutants drop, it could still be a big hit!
What do you think? Are you more interested in The New Mutants now? Sound off in the comments below and vote in our poll.