(WARNING: The following contains mild theoretical SPOILERS related to Fox's upcoming 'New Mutants,' albeit ones that are almost entirely based on guesswork and old comic books. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests is wise...)
Now, X-Men: Apocalypse might still be a couple of months away from hitting theaters, but in the wake of Deadpool's zeitgeist-dominating success earlier this year, attention is being turned toward Fox's forthcoming projects, and in particular the young X-Men-centric New Mutants, currently in an advanced stage of development.
Which is perhaps not all that surprising, seeing as X-Men senior producer Simon Kinberg recently revealed in an interview with IGN that...
'New Mutants' Is Going To Have A 'Young Adult Vibe'
As he put it:
"Josh Boone and his writing partner are working on the script. They’re doing a really nice job of it, and it’s a really cool one, because in many ways, like Deadpool was so different from the mainline X-Men movies, New Mutants… It’s maybe not as different as Deadpool, but it has its own unique, original voice to it.
"That’s the fun for me, working in the X-Men universe, creating these sort of standalone movies that have a different vibe to them. And New Mutants has more of a YA [Young Adult] vibe to it."
Which could actually mean a whole bunch of different things. While it's entirely plausible that we'll see a Hunger Games/Maze Runner/Divergent-like movie emerge, it's also possible that Kinberg is simply just suggesting that New Mutants will — unlike the X-Men movies that have come before it — focus almost entirely on the younger cast members. After all, there's evidence to suggest that the traditional young adult movie template is suffering at the box office, so a new, lighter, more mutant-filled approach might well be tempting to Fox.
It Seems Some Established Faces Might Be Showing Up
Y'see, as it turns out, Kinberg had some teasing prepared on the casting front, too, revealing that Fox has:
"A very deep bench. There’s a long, long list of names, and I’ll tell you some of the names on that list don’t even know. That’s how deep it goes."
Combined with his explicit confirmation that:
"Traditionally, the New Mutants have some characters that cross over from the mainline X-Men movies. As we are going, I would say it’s likely that you will see some familiar faces."
And it sure does seem to suggest that some already-established mutants are going to make an appearance.
The big question left hanging, though?
Just Who Will We See In The Movie?
Well, in terms of the classic comic book New Mutants, the likes of Sam "Cannonball" Guthrie (with his inherently cinematic thrust-based powers), Dani "Mirage" Moonstar (with her vaguely Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age Of Ultron-ish powers), and Roberto "Sunspot" da Costa (with his recent importance in Marvel comic books) all seem likely candidates to be played by newly arrived teen heart-throbs. But it's Illyana "Magik" Rasputin who seems the most likely hero that's been nailed down to appear.
After all, not only is she Colossus's sister (and a ridiculously awesome, Soulsword-wielding badass in her own right), but Kinberg pretty much acknowledged that Illyana was on her way, responding to IGN's query with a grinning, "It’s a great role. … It would be a great role to cast."
If Magik would be an obvious addition to the X-Men Universe, though, then who would make for a logical transfer into the New Mutants lineup?
Well, if we assume that the original (X-Men: Apocalypse) X-Men are going to stay in the '80s, then Brianna Hildebrand's Negasonic Teenage Warhead from Deadpool seems a lock for a modern day New Mutants...
...while X-Men: Days Of Future Past's Blink (Fan Bingbing), Sunspot (Adan Canto) or Warpath (Booboo Stewart) could also return, having varying degrees of linkage to the team in comic book form. The same actors returning to play the roles, however, seems a little less likely, especially considering the film's young adult approach.
In terms of teaching staff, that same young adult-skewing plan may well make the likes of Professor X and Magneto less appealing as teachers, which could give James Marsden another shot at replicating Cyclops's comic book awesomeness on the big screen, or perhaps provide Ellen Page, Anna Paquin and Shawn Ashmore with the chance to reprise that Shadowcat/Rogue/Iceman love triangle, only this time as teachers. Throw in Colossus for the sake of Deadpool-related continuity, and you'd have a comfortably in-the-background set of X-Men, allowing the new recruits to shine out front.
Plus, there's always Deadpool himself. Not only because he made his first appearance way back in The New Mutants Issue 98, or even because his solo movie made an insane amount of money, but simply because if it is possible to add Deadpool to your X-Men-centric movie, you should probably do it.
What do you reckon, though?
Who do you most want to see appear in 'New Mutants'?