Why The New Mutants’ Director Felt ‘Less Pressure’ After Dark Phoenix Flopped

The New Mutants cast

The X-Men franchise had quite a rocky road under 20th Century Fox, one which still, despite Disney acquiring the studio, still has not reached its end. The final Fox released X-Men film, Dark Phoenix, was a critical and commercial flop, and the final film produced by the studio, The New Mutants, still hasn't seen the light of day.

The New Mutants was finally set to be released on April 3, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, has been put on hold once again. Having said that, writer/director Josh Boone recently told Empire (via Digital Spy) that, for better or worse, Dark Phoenix has set a low bar, and so The New Mutants has nowhere to go but up. According to the director...

Look, you can only go up after Dark Phoenix. That's not to say anything bad about the people involved, but it was what it was. Honestly, I feel less pressure now than I did ahead of [the first slated release date]. Because we've tested our movie so many times, and audiences have loved it.

Josh Boone's comments might sound a little harsh, the director himself seems to understand that, but as he says, "it was what it was." And what it was, by nearly all measures, was a bad, largely pointless, movie. The film is now the second time that the Dark Phoenix Saga has seen an adaptation for the big screen, and the second time that it didn't work.

Josh Boone says that he feels less pressure for the release of his film now, though that's mostly because, due to the numerous delays the film has seen, it has been test screened so many times, that he now has confidence that the wider audience will like the film as much as test audiences apparently have.

The New Mutants was first supposed to be released in April of 2018 but has seen multiple delays due to reshoots and the changing release calendar, as well as the Disney/Fox merger itself. It finally looked like the film was going to see the light of day in just a couple of weeks, but now, it's fate, like that of so many other movies, is just sitting in limbo waiting to see what happens next with coronavirus.

While the continual delays have been seen from the outside as evidence that there was something wrong with the movie, since there was never any hurry to get it out in the world, Josh Boone says that, in fact, quite the opposite is true, the delays have allowed a fine tuning of the film, and whatever issues the movie may have had early on, have been discovered and fixed.

It feels like one of the two extremes has to be true. Either The New Mutants has been perfected, or it's been endlessly tinkered with until it has become a mess. We'll discover which one it is...eventually.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.