On Friday, the trailer for Fox’s upcoming New Mutants film dropped on the web, surprising us with an unexpected descent into the darker, scarier heart of the Marvel X-Men universe. Starring Anya-Taylor Joy (The Witch, Split), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), the upcoming film with an April, 2018 release date looks to be exploring the frightening reality that would be inherent to discovering emerging mutant powers as a young adult. It makes perfect sense, but it’s still oddly refreshing to see a portion of the Marvel universe viewed through a new genre lens: The superhero horror movie. If you haven’t already watched that trailer, check it out here:
We now have some intriguing new details about New Mutants, which will not be solely a stand-alone film but seems to be loosely planned as a trilogy. Speaking with IGN, director Josh Boone dropped a wealth of information about the film’s connection to the New Mutants comics written in the ‘80s by author Bill Sienkiewicz, to some of the more obvious horror imagery evoked by the trailer, including a prevailing connection to A Nightmare on Elm Street, and the second sequel Dream Warriors in particular. But of special interest are a few lines from the interview in which Boone hints at the outlines of the next two films in the New Mutants series. He says:
These are all going to be horror movies, and they’ll 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. The main thing was to have a more performance driven, grounded X-Men horror movie.
Now that is interesting. Boone refers to the first New Mutants movie, set in an asylum, as a “rubber reality” supernatural horror film, implying a certain mind-expanding psychological nature that one might compare to the likes of The Shining or perhaps Shutter Island, with the “group of teens” mechanic as seen in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. But it would seem that the next two entries in the series will go somewhere completely different; separate subgenres within the world of horror.
What could that mean? Well, imagine the likes of:
- A mutant slasher film: Easy enough, right? A powerful mutant running amok, hunting down some of his peers, who have to either band together and fight him or produce a “final girl” equivalent capable of doing so.
- A corporate/governmental nightmare: Honestly, setting the first film in an asylum already implies this to a certain extent, but an entire film about government control/experimentation upon the mutant community would certainly be pretty horrifying.
- Mutants crossing over: What’s the mutant afterlife like, anyway? If anyone is going to be able to bridge that gap, it’ll probably be them.
And so forth. The possibilities are nearly endless, and it will be exciting to see which direction Boone and co. take things in from here. With a solid young cast and a fresh direction, we’re looking forward to seeing the next phase of the X-Men universe become a spooky reality. It’s a shame the first film can’t get here in time for Halloween!