A week ago, the latest trailer for The New Mutants dropped online. The trailer – which you can view below – is the third teaser for the forthcoming movie. 

But what is The New Mutants and more importantly, why does this trailer/film look so familiar? Also why the heck has no one seen this movie yet?

In this post I will answer these questions and more. But before I do, here’s that trailer.

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What is The New Mutants?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

The New Mutants is a super hero horror movie based on the comic book of the same name published by Marvel Comics. Directed by Josh Boone, the film stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton and Alice Braga and focuses on a team of mutants not-too dissimilar to the X-Men.

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If The New Mutants is based on a Marvel comic, is the film part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Image: ©Marvel Studios/Disney

While The New Mutants is based on a Marvel property, it is not part of the MCU. The film was originally green lit by 20th Century Fox to be part of the X-Men movie series, so think of this movie as existing in the X-Men movie universe (Logan, Deadpool, X-Men: Days of Future Past etc) rather than the one inhabited by Cap and the Hulk.

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So, the New Mutants are connected to the X-Men then? 

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

Yes, kind of. When The New Mutants went into production the aim was for the film to be an X-Men spin-off, featuring mutant characters who had not previously appeared on screen. The original plan was to see how well audiences responded to The New Mutants, and then possibly turn it into an ongoing series of films.

The New Mutants was one of many Marvel projects in the works at 20th Century Fox before the studio was bought by Disney.

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Why does The New Mutants look familiar?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

If you think The New Mutants looks familiar it’s likely that you recall seeing the first trailer or possibly the movie poster. Both were released in 2018.

The film was actually shot in 2017 and was marketed in early 2018. The New Mutants has sat on a shelf ever since.

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Why did the first New Mutants trailer come out in 2018?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

Production wrapped on The New Mutants in 2017, with a release date originally set for April 2018. However, after some early promotional work, 20th Century Fox made the decision to delay the film’s release, sighting the need for some reshoots as the reason.

Many films undergo reshoots, often to tweak or change parts of the movie that either don’t quite work, or don’t play well to test audiences. Usually these reshoots taken place before the film begins its marketing campaign, but that wasn’t the case here.

The reshoots caused the film to be pushed back from its initial release date. However, this wasn’t the only push back that happened.

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How many times was The New Mutants‘ release date rescheduled?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

The film was initially pushed back to February 2019, but was pushed back once again to August 2019 because of the alleged reshoots. This decision not only frustrated fans, it also confused the film’s cast as they didn’t seem to know anything about the reshoots.

By Spring 2019 the cast still hadn’t taken part in any reshoots and the film’s release was up in the air. Meanwhile, while all of this re-scheduling took place, something very significant happened to 20th Century Fox – it was bought by the Walt Disney Company. 

As a result of a change in ownership, a number of Fox movies got rescheduled or reshuffled. The New Mutants was one of these films and it was temporarily shelved without a release date.

However, in January 2020 director Josh Boone announced the film was finally getting a release date and would arrive in cinemas in April 2020. The cut would also be the same one that was completed in 2017 – i.e without any of the reshoots (that may or may not have taken place).

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But The New Mutants never came out in April 2020, did it?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

No. Mere weeks away from its theatrical release, the outbreak of COVID-19 caused cinemas to close their doors worldwide and all movie releases were postponed, including The New Mutants. For a short while the film was back in limbo, with no new release date.

Then, the title popped up on Amazon, suggesting it would go direct to retail. However, all information about purchasing The New Mutants was quickly pulled and all pre-orders were cancelled.

Shortly after this, The New Mutants was given yet another new theatrical release date of August 2020. This would be dependent on COVID-19, but at the very least the film was back in the schedules.

In total, The New Mutants has had the following release dates:

  • April 2018
  • February 2019
  • August 2019
  • April 2020
  • August 2020

Bar any further delays, when it does finally arrive, The New Mutants will be the final entry in Fox’s X-Men movie series.

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Hang on… wasn’t X-Men: Dark Phoenix the final entry in Fox’s X-Men movie series?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

Yes, kind of – it’s all a bit confusing.

The New Mutants was shot before X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and as discussed above, was supposed to be released before that last X-Men movie. When the movie got delayed and then shelved, X-Men: Dark Phoenix technically became the last entry under Fox’s watch.

When X-Men: Dark Phoenix was released during summer 2019 (after being delayed from a November 2018 release date), 20th Century Fox marketed the film as the last X-Men movie. Either this was because Disney considered scrapping The New Mutants completely, or it was simply to give X-Men: Dark Phoenix a boost in theatres by calling it the finale.

Either way, now that The New Mutants is getting released it will (sort of) conclude the 20th Century Fox era of X-Men movies and TV shows that has included:

  • Generation X (1996)
  • X-Men (2000)
  • X-2: X-Men United (2003)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
  • X-Men: First Class (2011)
  • The Wolverine (2013)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • Deadpool (2016)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
  • Logan (2017) 
  • Deadpool 2 (2018)
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)
  • Legion (2017-2019)
  • The Gifted (2017-2019)
  • The New Mutants (2020)
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So, if The New Mutants completely concludes the Fox X-Men series, does that mean there will be no more movies?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

Erm… kind of. While the Fox era will conclude with The New Mutants, this isn’t quite the end for the Fox/X-Men characters. Deadpool 3 is currently in development at Disney, which means the 20-year run of movies will still continue in a way.

Due to his ability to break the fourth wall, Deadpool can exist in both in the Fox X-Men movie series, and whatever Disney has planned for the X-Men moving forward (i.e the Marvel Cinematic Universe). So, Disney will be bringing us something new, but there may still be a link to the X-Men movies of the past.

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Why is The New Mutants getting released? Couldn’t the studio just scrap it entirely?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

Releasing The New Mutants is Disney’s way of tying up loose ends (from a business point of view). Whether it is a good film or a bad film, and whether it required reshoots or not, as far as Disney is concerned it is best to just get The New Mutants out there and then move on.

The New Mutants is one of the remaining Fox films that Disney needs to release, and the last Marvel movie produced by Fox. Moving forward, all Marvel movies – with the exception of the Spider-Man films* – will be produced by Marvel Studios (which is owned by Disney).

*Marvel Studios/Disney does not own the rights to the Spider-Man films, even though Spider-Man is a Marvel character. This is an equally convoluted situation, which I’ve simplified on Don’t Tell Harry (should you want to read up on it).

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Is it possible that Disney could have shelved The New Mutants?

Disney owns Marvel Studios and therefore controls the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As The New Mutants was not created by Disney and/or Marvel Studios and is not part of the MCU, then it is possible the studio could have simply shelved it indefinitely as it serves no real purpose in Disney/Marvel’s future plans. 

While it’s rare that a studio will bury a film forever (as it is better to make some money off a film than none at all), it does happen. Heck, even the first Fantastic Four movie was the subject of an indefinite shelving, which meant the initial FF film has never been given an official release.

However, it doesn’t make any sense for Disney to shelve The New Mutants. The film will make some money upon its release, which is essentially new money for Disney, and if it is a bad film then audiences will forget about it in the long run.

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If The New Mutants is pretty much the end of the Fox X-Men movies, does that mean it won’t get a sequel?

Image: ©20th Century Fox/Marvel/Disney

Here’s the kicker with The New Mutants, because the film was shot so long ago and is technically a loose end, it’s very unlikely we will see a sequel, even if it is a good movie. OK, so if it brings in a billion dollars then you can bet it’ll be thrown a lifeline, but chances are it’ll simply come and go as a standalone tale.

If you’re a fan of The New Mutants comics/characters then it’s probably best to just be thankful that the film will be released. Appreciate it for what it is, then hope The New Mutants will get revived in some capacity in the MCU.

Now, all that said, director Josh Boone did plan a sequel to The New Mutants. His sequel would have been called New Mutants: Brazil.

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What happens to the X-Men movies moving forward?

Image: ©Marvel Studios/Disney

At some point in the not-too distant future, the X-Men will be introduced into the MCU. When this happens, expect to see a new era of X-Men films (i.e a reboot of the series), with a new cast taking on the iconic roles of Wolverine, Storm, Jean Grey etc.

You should also expect to see a greater integration between the X-Men and the existing MCU heroes and villains. Magneto and Scarlet Witch might hang out, or Storm and Black Panther could hook up – we will just have to see how it all plays out.

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I hope this post has answered any questions you might have about The New Mutants movie. Should you wish to read further posts on the convoluted release of the film, I recommend you read my posts: ‘Fox pushes back X-Men: Dark Phoenix and New Mutants (again)’, ‘What is happening with The New Mutants film?’, ‘Yeah, about The New Mutants movie…’, ‘The New Mutants movie has been pushed back again’ and ‘The New Mutants *IS* coming out in 2020’.

Jeez, that’s a lot of reading! Now just imagine how much of a headache it has been trying to keep track of this movie.

For more Marvel-related posts, check out the recommended reads below. Alternatively, if you have various questions about the Spider-Man movies that you want answering you can also check out my Spidey movies blog, Don’t Tell Harry.

Thanks for dropping by!

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