New Mutants Director Sets The Record Straight On How Much The Movie Has Changed

Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin in The New Mutants

Josh Boone’s The New Mutants has taken a seriously long journey to see the light of day. It was about three years ago that the movie was shot up in Medford, Massachusetts with plans to be in theaters in the first half of 2018, but then various occurrences behind the scenes prevented that. Ever since then we’ve heard rumors about the feature undergoing certain alterations, the most significant saying that it was being changed to be more horror centric, but now that the film is finally coming out, the writer/director is setting the record straight by saying that the X-Men feature hasn’t really changed much at all since it first went into post-production.

I had the pleasure of video conferencing with Josh Boone last week to discuss his work on the new comic book movie, and while the majority of the conversation centered on the individual characters that make up the team, the interview began with real talk regarding how much the vision for The New Mutants has changed since it completed production back in 2017. You can watch that particular part of our talk in the clip below.

As most fans know, the biggest impediment to the release of The New Mutants has been the corporate deal known as the Fox/Disney merger, and the fact that all of the Marvel characters that used to belong to the former company now belong to the latter. The sale, which was completed in 2019, effectively put an end to the X-Men franchise that had been running since 2000… and that obviously left Josh Boone’s feature in a bit of an awkward place, what with it being the last title in the franchise to be completed.

This left the door open for a lot of rumors about The New Mutants delays, specifically those saying that there was need for big changes and reshoots, but that apparently wasn’t actually a significant part of the writer/director’s experience behind the scenes. Instead, Boone says that the biggest thing that’s been going on with the movie in the last couple of years is that nothing has been going on, and that the film was effectively waiting for the dust to clear from the merger before post-production work continued to get it finished and ready for release:

It really hasn't changed much at all because we never were able to go do any reshoots or any sort of pickups or anything like that. So the story never changed. We had about a year plus of limbo where the Fox/Disney merger was happening, where literally nothing happened with the movie at all. The visual effects, the work on that, was stopped, so I never saw finished visual effects until this past year. It's why you see more of that stuff in the trailers now and not earlier, because you were seeing just stuff with practical effects for the most part.

While Josh Boone doesn’t specify the dates of the work, the explanation does cast some light that allows us to understand why The New Mutants got pushed back. If the visual effects work wasn’t being done until within this past year, it makes sense that the film missed its August 9, 2019 release date and why it was moved to April 3, 2020 instead. And obviously that release date would have stuck had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the world to shut down and just about all movies to be delayed.

At the end of the day, Josh Boone says that The New Mutants is still the film that he set out to make when he became attached to the project back in 2015, and that the reality of the situation is that there has been little studio interference as far as the content of the film. The filmmaker sees it as a different concoction than what we’re used to seeing from typical comic book movies, but Boone seems proud of the work. Said the writer/director,

It's been a long process, but for me it was a happy ending because once the merger was done, Disney really came back and let us go finish the movie without anybody bothering us really. So it was sort of great, and we're really getting to release what we went and shot and set out to make, which is a strange brew, but I think it's a really cool brew that hasn't been done before.

Starring Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton, and Alice Braga, The New Mutants is being released exclusively in theaters this weekend – and this is really only the start of our coverage. We have plenty more stories from my interviews with the cast and director of the new Marvel movie coming your way here on CinemaBlend in the next few days, so be sure to stay tuned for all of that and more!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.