After confirming that Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy would be joining Josh Boone‘s X-Men universe spin-off The New Mutants earlier this month, we’re starting to get an idea of just how this movie is going to shape up. Clearly, inspiration is drawn from Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod‘s early 80s creation about a team of young Marvel mutants, but new information gets a little more detailed than that.
EW has the inside track on Boone’s latest project, straight from the writer-director himself. Perhaps most interesting is the tone of this project, which is apparently shifting from its earlier iteration as a YA-styled film to more of a horror focus, just one that’s set in the X-Men universe. Based on the current cast, they really could have gone either way with it: 20-year-old Williams will play Wolfsbane alongside 21-year-old Taylor-Joy as Magik. Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why) is rumored for the role of Sunspot, with Rosario Dawson in negotiations to play Dr. Cecilia Reyes, “a medical doctor who has the ability to generate a protective bio-field around herself,” and will act as a mentor of sorts, as THR reports. It’s still unclear whether or not James McAvoy‘s Professor X or Alexandra Shipp‘s Storm will appear, as we’ve heard conflicting reports; stay tuned
As for Boone’s plans for The New Mutants, he said:
We are making a full-fledged horror movie set within the X-Men universe. There are no costumes. There are no supervillains. We’re trying to do something very, very different.
Well that’d certainly be different, considering that Disney/Marvel, Sony/Marvel, 20th Century Fox/Marvel, and Warner Bros./DC have done pretty well with costumes and supervillains over the last 20 years or so.
The movie’s plot will reportedly take inspiration from artist Bill Sienkiewicz‘s 1984 run on the Marvel comic’s series, which Boone described as, “a darker and more surreal and impressionistic X-Men series than we’d ever seen before. It felt like Stephen King meets John Hughes.”
The story is expected to explore how mutants are at their most dangerous–to themselves and people around them–when their powers are new. EW’s source says this of the plot:
“Held in a secret facility against their will, five new mutants have to battle the dangers of their powers, as well as the sins of their past. They aren’t out to save the world — they’re just trying to save themselves.”
If this all sounds a little off to you, Boone wants to get one thing straight:
“You can’t have a bigger nerd or fan making this. It’s so important to me. I’m not the 12-year-old who decided to write Stephen King a letter and loved Marvel Comics anymore, but I try to hold myself accountable to that kid. Because that kid is what keeps me from becoming a Hollywood whore,” he says with a laugh. “I look back and think: Would he think this would be cool? Would he proud of me? Did I fulfill the dream we had when we were kids? So yeah, you can definitely say I’m excited.”
We’ll find out more once the film heads towards its planned July production start in advance of an April 13, 2018 release.