ByTom Bacon, writer at Creators.co
I'm a film-and-TV fan who grew up with a deep love of superhero comics! Follow me on Twitter @TomABacon or on Facebook @tombaconsuperheroes!
Tom Bacon

Created in 1982 by legendary #XMen creators Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod, the New Mutants are one of the most popular X-Men spinoff franchises. The idea was simple: to create a team of young X-Men-in-training, with a carefully-cultivated global appeal. Giving #Marvel's best creators a chance to exercise their creativity to the max, the New Mutants' adventures took them everywhere from Immortal Asgard to the Hellish dimension known as Limbo.

The success of Deadpool has clearly woken Fox up to the fact that there's more to the X-Men franchise than just the tentpole films, and for months now we've been hearing news of a potential New Mutants movie. Recently, sources inside Fox gave ComingSoon.net some fascinating new insights, accompanied by a storyboard claiming to be from the film! I'd recommend taking these rumors with a pinch of salt, but the fact remains that they tally with what we've already been hearing. You can check out the storyboard below, and scoop the new details after the jump!

New Mutants Scheduled for March 2nd, 2018

Iconic heroes! Image: Marvel Comics
Iconic heroes! Image: Marvel Comics

New Mutants has long been rumored to be starting production in early 2017, meaning we were expecting a 2018 release. ComingSoon.net's source confirms this, suggesting that it's scheduled for Spring 2018. Fox already has a date set aside for an as-yet-untitled X-Men movie in Spring 2018 — March 2nd. If ComingSoon.net is right, then this is the date we'd be expecting New Mutants to air.

The Roll Call Looks Certain

Magik, one of the New Mutants. Image: Marvel Comics
Magik, one of the New Mutants. Image: Marvel Comics

Back in October, we learned the likely stars of New Mutants:

  • Cannonball a Kentucky-born superhero whose power is to launch himself forward in flight, surrounded by an impenetrable blast field. He's often the team leader.
  • Moonstar a Cheyenne superhero who can generate illusions showing your greatest fears and desires.
  • Wolfsbane — a Scottish mutant who can morph into the shape of a wolf.
  • Sunspot — a Brazilian mutant who can absorb solar radiation, channeling it into superhuman strength and resistance to injury.
  • Magik a mutant sorceress who is linked with the demonic realm of Limbo.
  • Warlock — an alien entity who allies with the New Mutants.

The animated storyboard leaked to ComingSoon.net shows four of those characters — Cannonball, Moonstar, Wolfsbane, and Magik. Interestingly enough, there may be one minor difference; in the comics, Wolfsbane can morph between a human and a werewolf-esque form. In the storyboard, she clearly looks like a werewolf, even though she's in a situation where she'd more naturally be human. It may be that Fox has switched up Wolfsbane's powers a little, as they've done the idea of morphing between a human and animalistic state with the X-Men's Beast.

A famous scene! Image: Marvel Comics
A famous scene! Image: Marvel Comics

Incidentally, that storyboard gives X-Men fans another reason for excitement; notice that Magik has a dragon on her shoulder? That little purple creature is actually Lockheed. In the comics, Lockheed is a young alien dragon most commonly associated with Kitty Pryde. It looks as though a version of Lockheed is making his way into the movies!

A word of caution, though; the direction of the film seems to be focused on the supernatural. I wouldn't be at all surprised if both Warlock and Lockheed are heavily-adapted, and have supernatural rather than extraterrestrial origins.

Casting Choices Confirmed

For months, we've been hearing consistent rumours that Fox is eyeing Maisie Williams (from Game of Thrones) as Wolfsbane — a choice that fans definitely approve of. What's more, another recurrent rumor is that Fox has approached Anya Taylor-Joy (of The Witch and Morgan) as Magik. ComingSoon.net's sources confirm that these two actresses are high up on Fox's wish-list, and add that Nat Wolff (from The Fault in Our Stars) is being considered for the role of Cannonball.

Fox Seems to Have Learned the Lessons of Deadpool

Deadpool's become mainstream! Image: Marvel Comics
Deadpool's become mainstream! Image: Marvel Comics

Compare Deadpool to the rest of Fox's X-Men films, and you're immediately struck by the fact that it has a totally different tone and style. With Deadpool, Fox allowed the creative team to do their own thing, to explore a whole new cinematic style, and to break away from the traditional look and feel of the X-Men film franchise.

It sounds as though Fox may have taken this lesson to heart, and are allowing New Mutants to blaze its own trail. The film is described as a “Stephen King meets John Hughes”-style horror movie, and ComingSoon.net even go so far as to imagine that the tone and style could be similar to Netflix's hit series Stranger Things.

Frankly, this approach makes perfect sense. I mean, the New Mutants include a literal mutant werewolf, a sorceress who's linked to a demon dimension, and a spiritual Cheyenne who manipulates your fears and desires. Even the acting choices suggest Fox is aiming to create something very different to the mainstream X-Men franchise — I mean, Anya Taylor-Joy alone is a lot more intense than anyone we've seen in an X-Men film so far!

The Villain Revealed?

One stunning image. Source: ComingSoon.net
One stunning image. Source: ComingSoon.net

The storyboard clearly displays the New Mutants in battle against a terrifying creature known as the Demon Bear, and many fans are assuming the Demon Bear is the main villain. It makes sense; in the comics, the Demon Bear is a major New Mutants villain. This mystical creature haunted the dreams of Dani Moonstar; it is an ancient enemy of the Cheyennes, and sought to destroy Dani. The storyboard shows a scene that's pretty clearly adapted straight from the pages of the New Mutants comics.

But here's the catch: the storyboard also includes dialogue in which Magik comments:

While I'm presuming this isn't final dialogue — it certainly looks a little, ah, 'rough-and-ready' — it suggests the New Mutants have just tangled with some very different creatures. In which case, the Demon Bear may be just another spirit creature serving another, more powerful, threat. I'll be very surprised if this storyboard turns out to have revealed the main villain.

See also:

In my view, these are very strong rumors; they dovetail perfectly with other sources, and the leaked storyboard looks fascinating. I'm honestly hoping that ComingSoon's report is correct, because if so, we're in for a very unusual X-Men film — one that explores the supernatural about as much as it does the concept of mutants. And personally, I think switching things up like that would be a very good call...

Poll

Do you think Demon Bear will be the main villain of 'New Mutants'?

(Poll Image: Marvel Comics. Source: ComingSoon.net)