The New Mutants Trailer Emphasizes Horror
Fox, determined to continue exploiting the X-Men property in visual media, has not only launched a new TV series about running from the government when your kids turn out to be mutants (The Gifted), but the studio is preparing a movie for April, The New Mutants. And the trailer just became available.
You’ll notice immediately that this does not look like your usual mutant superhero movie. No obvious powers, no costumes, no happy kids in class. These youngsters instead are in what looks like every haunted abandoned hospital you’ve ever seen in thrillers or nightmares. The trailer comes complete with ominous music (and the choral part of the overplayed “Another Brick in the Wall”), a spooky graveyard, restraints with old-fashioned medical equipment, barred doors, bizarre masks, and a distinct lack of lighting. If it weren’t for the vaguely foreign voice asking, “Do you know what mutants are?” this would seem to be a slasher movie.
Writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) has even called it a horror movie, about the young mutants fighting to escape their captivity in a secret facility. Reportedly, it’s influenced by both Stephen King and John Hughes. The character mix is a good one, with strong abilities and in keeping with the various combinations of the team in the comics.
- Rahne Sinclair / Wolfsbane (a werewolf) – Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones)
- Illyana Rasputin / Magik (a magician) – Anya Taylor-Joy (Split)
- Sam Guthrie / Cannonball (speed and flight) – Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things)
- Sunspot / Roberto da Costa (heat and flame) – Henry Zaga (Teen Wolf)
- Danielle Moonstar / Mirage (the required mental power, to create illusions) – Blu Hunt (The Originals)
And Alice Braga as Dr. Cecilia Reyes.
I don’t care much for horror, but this does seem like a fresh way to capture the potent combination of adolescent development and body horror that are a part of modern mutant comics.
Update: The release date for The New Mutants has changed from April 13, 2018, to February 14, 2019. A significant delay like this may not bode well, but Fox’s explanation is that it’s to avoid overseas scheduling conflicts.
Update 2: And now the release date is August 2, 2019.
I’ve liked the unusual directions Fox has been taking the franchise, with Deadpool, Logan, and Legion. (Haven’t seen Gifted yet.) This trailer didn’t blow me away, but the cast has my attention.