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Rahne and Dani in The New Mutants

While The New Mutants is primarily being sold as a comic book horror feature, with the titular team of powerful youths trapped in a spooky hospital going toe-to-toe with a malevolent and mysterious spirit, the film also mixes things up genre-wise by featuring a romantic subplot – specifically a romance between Dani Moonstar and Rahne Sinclair. It’s not a relationship adapted from the comics, but writer/director Josh Boone felt it was an important inclusion in the story, and per Blu Hunt, the actress playing Dani, it will present audiences with a classic cinematic take on love at first sight.

With The New Mutants set to drop in theaters this Friday, I had the pleasure off interviewing Blu Hunt yesterday via video conference, and it was while talking about Dani Moonstar’s relationship with the other young protagonists that the actress spoke to the instant connection that is made between Dani and Rahne. According to Hunt, it’s not an intimacy that slowly boils over the course of the movie, but instead one that immediately presents itself when the two characters first meet. Said the actress,

They are immediately close. They're immediately crushing on each other from the moment they're in the room together, I think, which is so cool! Cause that's how it happens in real life. That's how it gets to happen in other movies. A lot of people are like, 'How do they find out that they like each other?' And I'm like, 'No, it's just like every other love story.' They look at each other and they like each other, you know?

In the film, Dani Moonstar acts as an audience surrogate to a certain extent, as it is through her eyes as a new patient that we get to know the primary setting of the story: a hospital where young mutants who can’t fully control their powerful abilities are kept. It is here that Dani meets not only Dr. Cecilia Reyes, who serves as the overseer of the facility, but others like herself including Rahne Sinclair (Maisie Williams), Illyana Rasputin (Anya Taylor-Joy), Roberto da Costa (Henry Zaga), and Sam Guthrie (Charlie Heaton).

The New Mutants will mark the first time that a same-sex relationship has been featured in a major Marvel film, though in recent years there has been an increase in LGBTQ representation in the comic book adaptations. It’s a notable inclusion for the film from a big picture perspective, but particularly great to see given that the new release is the last of the original Fox-produced X-Men movies, which is a franchise that arguably built its foundation on stories that can be analyzed as gay rights parables (case in point: the “Have you tried not being a mutant?” line from X2: X-Men United).

Exactly how substantial the gay relationship is in the film isn’t something that is known yet given that The New Mutants has not been screened, but we’ll know soon enough as the movie is finally landing in theaters this Friday, August 28th. Be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our coverage of the release, including more stories from my interviews with not only Blu Hunt, but also Josh Boone, Alice Braga, and Henry Zaga.

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