Maybe it is time to just admit The New Mutants was a doomed project.
Collider reports the Josh Boone-directed film, based on the New Mutants comic book series by writer Chris Claremont and artists like Bill Sienkiewicz, has been pushed back from its August 2nd release date to April 3rd, 2020. For those keeping track, the film was original scheduled for release on April 13, 2018 — some may even recall seeing New Mutants standees in the lobby of their local theaters at the time — but the delay of Dark Phoenix and the impending Disney acquisition of 20th Century Fox assets threw the plan into disarray. Needing to maintain X-Men product ahead of the acquisition, Fox reschedule New Mutants to February 2019 and then moved it again to August when Dark Phoenix took the February slot before it also moved to the summer of 2019.
A two-year delay is never a good sign for a film, particularly one plague by reports of difficult production and a rumored reshoot schedule which never materialized. Set to be a horror film within the X-Men reality, the film’s first trailer suggests a movie much dark and scarier than the one Fox ordered. Plans were in motion to make the film conform to the trailer’s tone and introduce another character into the mix. But when cast was asked about those reshoots, said to be planed for this past winter, the actors were as puzzled about the film as everyone else.
The film — if it ever materializes — will take its cues from New Mutants #18-21, “The Demon Bear Saga” and star Anna Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga. For the moment, it is will be out in theaters next year, but a lot of people just expect the film to disintegrate as Disney’s Snap over Fox continues to alter that studio’s reality. Some also expect it will be quietly released on Hulu in the end. Considering the way Dark Phoenix is being positioned as the final chapter of Fox’s X-Men saga, we expect Hulu will indeed be the eventual home for this odd curio.
The change in The New Mutants release was included in an update to Disney’s overall film schedule, which also lists three untitled Star Wars films in 2022, 2024 and 2026. Additionally, fans will have four additional Avatar film to look forward to on a bi-annual basis starting in 2021 and the feature adaptation of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona will debut on March 5, 2021. The updated schedule also notes the removal of Gambit and three additional “Untitled Fox Marvel” films from the schedule, signalling the end of that film’s troubled development and, likely, the end of X-Force, Doctor Doom and the untitled Kitty Pryde film.