Why The New Mutants Movie Had To Leave Fan-Favorite Character Warlock Out

Warlock in New Mutants comics

The roster for Marvel’s mutant hero team The New Mutants has changed repeatedly over the years. Cable (Josh Brolin), who audiences met in Deadpool 2, led the team for a while, and other characters from Feral to Magma and Blink have been part of the crew. But there’s one fan-favorite character who was in the script for The New Mutants movie for a long time during development, until budget restraints cut him loose.

The character is Warlock, who joined the team in issue number 18 of the initial run of New Mutants comics. This was back in August 1984, so Warlock has a deep and rich history as a member of the New Mutants squad. But he will not show up in the movie, as director Josh Boone told CinemaBlend exclusively:

He was in all our early drafts. He was really in it until maybe six months before we shot, but he doubled our budget. It was just too expensive. The studio had a very hard place that they needed it to be at, financially, to launch [the movie]. And Warlock was what left in order to make it possible to make the movie. So our plan was always to put him in the second one. So I hope everybody watches the movie.

For those who might not know, Warlock is an alien being made up of mechanical organisms. His alien race survives by taking over, or “infecting,” living things, and then consuming them. But Warlock, individually, is blessed with a great deal of compassion, and he doesn’t want to consume others. He holds off, and that makes him an ally for the team.

Warlock also has incredible shape-shifting powers, which has led to a slew of ingenious creations for him to become on the pages of the comics. But Warlock has a very distinct, almost crazy, visual look to him, and so he’d have to be a complete CGI creation on screen in a New Mutants movie. And that got to be too expensive for Josh Boone and the studio.

Warlock from the Marvel comics

Josh Boone sounds optimistic when he discusses a sequel. While we, also, would love to see an expansion on the New Mutants into a franchise, the characters are probably stuck in limbo (no pun intended, Magik fans) because Disney purchased Fox and is likely figuring out how to bring mutants into its existing MCU. The New Mutants was filmed long before the merger happened, and now we want to see what Boone had in store. But he has discussed a mid-credits scene that would have teased a set up for the sequel… and introduced Antonio Banderas to the mix.

Now, though, we’ll likely be content with The New Mutants playing in theaters, and giving this crew the big-screen treatment. The movie showed off footage at its Comic-Con@Home panel. And it currently has a release date of August 28, if everything holds. We shall see.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean 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.