After being in development for years, New Mutants is picking up serious steam. The movie already has a release date set for next year, and a few weeks ago cast Anya Taylor-Joy (Split) and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as Magik and Wolfsbane, respectively. Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) will direct the film, which recently shifted from a presumed YA film to one that’s more in the horror genre.
So it makes sense that the latest bit of casting has some horror experience. According to THR, Charlie Heaton of Stranger Things has joined the film to play Cannonball, aka Sam Guthrie. His mutant ability allows him to propel himself from through the air at high speed and be invulnerable while he’s in flight. Here’s his origin story in the comics via Wikipedia:
Sam Guthrie was born in Cumberland, Kentucky. As a young boy, he attempted to help out his family by working in the coal mine in which his father had worked before he died. One day, Sam finds himself trapped in a collapsing mine shaft. While trying to rescue his fellow worker, Mr. Lewis, a friend of his father’s who had introduced him to the job, Sam unconsciously activates his mutant ability and uses it to save himself and Lewis from the collapsing mine. This incident leads Donald Pierce to find Sam and hire him as a mercenary for the Hellfire Club, to use him in a plot to attack the New Mutants. However, when Pierce orders him to kill the defeated New Mutants, Sam rebels against him. Professor Charles Xavier sees the good qualities inside Sam and, after saving him from Pierce, asks him to join his New Mutants. Cannonball leaves his large farming family in Kentucky to join the team.
Obviously, the film probably won’t follow this exact storyline since Xavier isn’t in New Mutans and Donald Pierce showed up in Logan, a movie that could not be more indifferent to what’s happening in the rest of the X-Men universe.
The cast of mutants is also set to include Native American Danielle Moonstar (aka Mirage), Roberto “Bobby” da Costa (aka Sunspot), and the cybernetic alien Warlock (I think it’s safe to expect that Warlock will be done via motion-capture). The film also recently cast Rosario Dawson to play a mentor figure to the group.
Per THR, “These new mutants find themselves held in a secret facility against their will and must battle the dangers of their powers, as well as the sins of their past.” Uplifting! But it definitely sounds like a far cry from the main line of X-Men movies, and I’m all for that.
Filming on New Mutants is expected to begin this July in Boston. New Mutants opens April 13, 2018.