Don’t expect to see The New Mutants pop up on Hulu or as a Premium VOD. 20th Century Studios pulled the long-delayed X-Men movie from its planned April 3, 2020 release date in March over COVID-19 concerns, opting not to announce a new release date right away. This led many to speculate that the film might be released on Hulu (which Fox/Disney owns) or released as a PVOD title like Universal Pictures did with Trolls: World Tour, and speculation only further intensified when the film went up for pre-sale on Amazon last week.
The film was taken down shortly thereafter, and THR reports that sources tell them The New Mutants is still being planned for a theatrical release come hell or high water. The journey to releasing this movie—which at this point I’m only 90% sure exists given all the delays—has been kind of insane. Production took place in 2017, with director Josh Boone crafting a horror-tinged X-Men spinoff about a group of younger mutants being held in a mental health facility. The intention at that time was for The New Mutants to be as distinct in the Fox Marvel universe as Logan and Deadpool, but after production wrapped, Fox decided it wanted to do some reshoots to amp up the horror elements it was originally scared off by and to add some connective tissue to the X-Men universe at large—namely a cameo by Jon Hamm as Mister Sinister and/or Antonio Banderas as the father of Sunspot to set up a Brazil-set New Mutants sequel. To do so, they pushed the movie off of its original April 2018 release date.
But Disney bought Fox before these reshoots took place, and the film continued sitting on the shelf as Disney decided what to do with it—either burn it off like they did X-Men: Dark Phoenix before an MCU X-Men reboot, or find a way to integrate it with their existing MCU plans.
It’s still unclear if New Mutants is being burnt off or will play a role in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s kind of hilariously devastating that the film’s release was once again thwarted and now remains in limbo. Indeed, while Disney has announced new release dates for delayed films like Black Widow and Mulan, officially New Mutants is still “undated.”
Given the potential box office to be gained it feels unlikely they’d just put it on Hulu—that’s like throwing money away since The New Mutants isn’t going to entice new subscribers. And the gain as a PVOD title could be relatively small given that The New Mutants marketing campaign never really took off. So in the end, the largest potential profit still remains in a theatrical release. When, exactly, that will be is, as ever, very unclear.