The New Mutants will finally come to theaters on August 28th, 2020.
At least, that’s what Disney and 20th Century Studios (formerly known as 20th Century Fox before Disney’s 2019 acquisition) now claim. By our count, this is the fifth release date that’s been set for director Josh Boone’s (The Fault in Our Stars) adaptation of the Marvel Comics series created by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod.
Filmed in 2017, the superheroic horror movie starring Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Charlie Heaton was originally planned for release on April 13, 2018. It was later pushed to February 22, 2019. This extra time was used for reshoots, while also allowing Fox to focus on another X-Men spinoff: Deadpool 2, which was released on May 18, 2018.
The New Mutants was then pushed back to August 2, 2019, making time for further reshoots while once again shifting the spotlight to another X-Men film: Dark Phoenix, itself released on June 7, 2019. The New Mutants’ newest release date was further pushed back to April 3, 2020 as Disney’s long-awaited Fox acquisition further complicated matters. Boone also claimed that reshoots were necessary in order to make his film scarier, as it was already being marketed as “superhero horror.”
But of course, the Coronavirus pandemic was already in full swing before April 2020. Movie theaters closed around the globe as stay-at-home orders were enacted, and film releases throughout the industry were delayed. Naturally, The New Mutants was no exception.
While The New Mutants’ troubled history is frustrating for fans, many of whom have wondered why the film can’t simply be dropped on Disney+ like Hamilton, it’s understandable that the studio still has a vested interest in releasing the film theatrically, at least eventually. Surely the filmmakers would prefer to see the film on the silver screen as planned, and being a Marvel superhero film, chances are still good that it could be a blockbuster.
What’s harder to understand, at least for this writer, is why The New Mutants is being rescheduled so soon from now. With so many summer events being canceled or delayed worldwide (including the olympics and a Rage Against the Machine concert I had been looking forward to), August 28th seems a little too optimistic.
By all means, it would be great to feel safe leaving our homes again by late summer, let alone to go back to the movies. But Marvel fans may want to temper their expectations.