After fifteen years of Charles and Erik trying and failing to decide whether they hate each other or want to make babies while Mystique forgets whether or not she's evil today, the #XMen movies are in serious need of new blood.
X-Men: New Mutants, the first team-focused spin-off movie in the X-verse, promises to say "au revoir" to the aforementioned tedium and resurrect the DNA of all the best X-Men comics — that sense of absurdity and unpredictability that arises when a bunch of freaks are told to save the world from another, slightly more demented freak.
Director Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars) is helming what's been described as a YA-adventure flick, and a recent interview given to Collider is full of tidbits on the process of adapting the comics for the screen which should raise excitement levels for #NewMutants from "cautiously optimistic" to "let's just fast-forward 2017:"
We had loved this X-Men spinoff, The New Mutants. We had loved Bill Sienkiewicz’s run with Chris Claremont that had Demon Bear. It was really dark, interesting, and different from the typical X-Men stories that we had read.
After I made The Fault in Our Stars, we made Fox a comic book. It walked them through a trilogy of New Mutant films that would build on each other. We used this program called Comic Life, and took all the images we had loved from the series and strung them together to show them the movie we wanted to do.
We brought it to Simon and he really liked it. We’ve been going for the past year and a half to get it ready, and I’m about to go location scout and we have a release date now.
What's interesting about Boone's words is that the way he describes the process of creating New Mutants seems almost the opposite of how some of this year's biggest (and most disappointing) superhero movies came to life — Suicide Squad, for instance, was clearly designed to bring together a series of DC's boldest heroes (Harley, the Joker, Deadshot, Batman) with a story which felt secondary to the concept of a bad-guy team-up. Even Civil War, a decent movie, suffered from an illogical premise which fell apart the more you actually gave it any thought.
But New Mutants seems to have been born out of Boone's love of the source material, and assuming it stays true to the comics (as you'd imagine it would given that the director literally created a visual pitch resembling a comic book to storyboard a potential trilogy) there's every chance this could be the rare comic book movie which actually has the feel of a comic, constructed with a beginning-to-end story arc, rather than just using characters from the page to form a typical blockbuster with little narrative or actual comic book DNA.
The use of Demon Bear as the villain is a pretty clear sign that New Mutants will directly adapt Sienkiewicz/Claremont issues #3 and #17-20, in which the Demon Bear haunts Danielle Moonstar (a.k.a. Mirage), leading to a fairly epic battle in which Magik (rumored to be played by Anya Taylor-Joy in the movie) defeats the bear with her soulsword.
Like every great X-Men comic adventure, the entire story is utterly insane and a total riot — think The Revenant with added demonic possession. In other words, yes, this exactly the post-Apocalypse refresh we need.
Is 'New Mutants' the movie the X-verse needs to get back on track?