Last week, we discussed how 2018 was once flush with X-Men films and was now only down to one in Deadpool 2, as both X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants were being delayed into 2019…the second such delay for The New Mutants, as it’s now going to be released in the Fall of next year.
This sent a little bit of a wave of panic through fanboy circles, as delays of this nature usually do not bode particularly well for the films in question. Collider had reported a few days ago with some specifics about what was going on with each film. In the case of Dark Phoenix, it just needs some additional photography after a recent test screening, but due to Sophie Turner’s demanding Game of Thrones shooting schedule, it’s taking a longer amount of time to get it done. But New Mutants, they stated, would rework 50% of the film in order to make it scarier and add two new characters that would be present throughout the course of the entire story.
In other words, pretty extensive stuff.
Last night, The Tracking Board hit the wire with a report of their own that maybe assuaged some of the worries of those anticipating Josh Boone’s first dalliance with mutantkind, and the story is, a little more complicated:
At first, Boone and (Knate) Lee wanted to make a horror movie, but Fox was initially resistant to that idea, as the studio didn’t want to go “full horror.” Sources say that Fox demanded a PG-13 rating and pushed back against the film’s horror elements, such as excessive blood and scares. Eventually, everyone got on the same page, and together, they set out to make a YA movie that felt like a cross between Stephen King and John Hughes. Fox film chief Stacey Snider is basically quoted as calling New Mutants a superhero movie set in a Breakfast Club-like setting whose genre is more like The Shining than “let’s save the world.”
But then last year’s IT became a huge hit for Warner Bros, and then Fox decided that going full-blown horror was indeed the right move, even after test screening a cut of the film that was more tailored into the above direction. So in other words, Josh Boone is getting to make the movie he basically wanted to make in the first place and the studio, according to this report, is fully on-board in the hopes of making something as tonally distinct as Deadpool and Logan.
Another open question might be what shape the script is in at this point. One of the more worrying details they share is that Boone and Lee were replaced on the script a number of times after producing the initial draft, not only with 4 different screenwriters or screenwriting duos, but also with an entire writers’ room that tore apart the script and tried to rework it from scratch. One assumes the initial shooting script came from this process, and was what Boone worked off of from the first cut of the film. Now with so much being reworked, it’ll be an interesting proposition to see how much of his original ideas might find their way back into the final cut of New Mutants.
Of course, the biggest eye-opener of the piece, for those who are into “casting that could have been”: Jon Hamm was set to play Mister Sinister in a post-credits scene, and Boone had filmed material leading up to that reveal – if not necessarily Hamm in costume and makeup. For those who remember anything about X-Men: Apocalypse (and who would blame you if you cast it all out of your mind?), there was a post-credit tag that teased Nathaniel Essex aka Mister Sinister. And it was rumored that would pay off in Logan – well, the blood sample that was stolen did, it just had nothing do with Essex Corp…so instead, the villain would have played out in this film, or a possible sequel. Well, nevermind that, as now Antonio Banderas will be playing an apparently different villain in a new post-credits scene. Also, don’t expect Warlock to make an appearance in the film, as the character was deemed too expensive to include, even though he did appear in earlier drafts.
So, there you have it, Jon Hamm – still free to be in my dream cast for the Fantastic Four when it finally makes it way over to Marvel Studios. You’re welcome everybody!