Why The New Mutants Won’t Go To Disney+ Before Playing In Theaters

Maisie Williams in New Mutants

Every time that Josh Boone’s New Mutants film gets delayed, you hear similar speculation from Marvel, mutant and Disney fans asking, “Why can’t this movie go to Disney+ already?” The film has shuffled through release dates, for various reasons, and while it now has an August 28 date circled on the calendar, that’s very tentative, given the state of the world’s theater population. So when the New Mutants cast and crew joined CinemaBlend for an exclusive interview, I asked Boone if a Disney+ conversation was ever had behind the scenes, and he told me:

Studios don't really involve you that much in those sorts of conversations. I just know there's contractual stuff, and issues. I don't even know exactly what it is. There's reasons why it has to be released in theaters first, even though we want everybody to see it in theaters. I don't think it's as simple as just putting it onto a streaming service because of a lot of business-related things that I couldn't speak to, and I don't really know about.

It's true that that major Hollywood studios, so far, are showing signs of solidarity with the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) regarding holding their biggest titles for theatrical release. This has meant the repeated delays of titles like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, John Krasinski’s horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, and Disney’s own live-action Mulan.

But there has been a precedent set by Disney in terms of deciding to shift a movie that was heading to theaters to the streaming service of Disney+ instead. Artemis Fowl, a movie aimed at kids and teens, punted on its Memorial Day release and opted to head to Disney+. The same goes for the upcoming The One and Only Ivan, an adaptation of K.A. Applegate’s beloved novel featuring the voices of Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Brooklynn Prince, Danny DeVito and Dame Helen Mirren.

And then there was Hamilton, the hit Broadway musical that was eyeballing a 2021 release date until Disney decided to move up the movie’s drop date… like, way up. And since arriving on Disney+ in July, Hamilton has dominated the pop-culture conversation, reviving interest in both the show and the streaming service.

Could New Mutants benefit from a Disney+ release? Absolutely. The fans have waited for a very long time to see Rahne (Maisie Williams), Cannonball (Charlie Heaton), Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy) and the whole team on screen. But it’s also noble that Josh Boone suggests that Disney is holding out for a theatrical release for the movie. I mean, if we’ve waited this long for the film…

The New Mutants held a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where it showed off the opening sequence from the film. It’s expected to play in theaters on August 28. Fingers crossed.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.