20th Century Fox offered one hell of a Friday the 13th treat last week when they debuted the first trailer for the secretive X-Men movie The New Mutants. The film, directed by Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars), had been teased as being a YA-tinged horror film of sorts, and indeed that’s exactly what was revealed in that trailer: a very grounded, creepy haunted house film of sorts with teenage mutants instead of regular ol’ humans. And if The New Mutants is a hit, that won’t be the end of this horror-infused superhero trend.
Speaking with IGN, Boone offered some tantalizing teases about New Mutants and his plan for what’s ahead, revealing that his initial pitch for the film was as a trilogy of horror movies:
“We brought it to Fox as a trilogy of films, really all based on that long run by [Bill] Sienkiewicz, and kind of incorporates some stuff from later issues in the ’80s. These are all going to be horror movies, and they’re all be their own distinct kind of horror movies. This is certainly the ‘rubber-reality’ supernatural horror movie. The next one will be a completely different kind of horror movie. Our take was just go examine the horror genre through comic book movies and make each one its own distinct sort of horror film. Drawing from the big events that we love in the comics.”
This sounds really terrific, and is right in line with Fox’s new edict of making very distinct superhero movies. Logan was an incredibly grounded Western drama, Deadpool was an R-rated comedy, and now with New Mutants we’re getting a proper horror film.
Boone says he was inspired by films, books, and a very specific run of the New Mutants comics:
“Our whole pitch for this series was based on Bill Sienkiewicz run with Chris Claremont [The New Mutants vol. 1 #18–31, 35–38], so it’s very much when New Mutants became dark and surreal and more horror driven. We were incredibly inspired by the Demon Bear story which is probably the best, well-known New Mutants story. We also drew on movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Stephen King stuff, and even Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.”
Boone does say he plans to include characters like Karma and Warlock in future New Mutants movies, but he’s incredibly cagey about what fans can expect in this first New Mutants beyond the fact that it takes place in present day.
How and when these characters will cross over with the rest of the X-Men is unclear, but I have to say I’m really digging this individualistic approach to the X-Men Cinematic Universe at Fox. Logan and Deadpool are completely different movies, but I’m incredibly happy they both exist. Fox seems to understand they can offer a lot of diversity without worrying too much about crossover, and I’m curious to see how this pans out with New Mutants.