Superhero movies these days have become a little obsessed with setting up the next thing. You may have noticed.
Batman v Superman played out as a (very) extended ad for Justice League Part One. (And Turkish Airlines. And Jeep. And human idiocy.) The entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been dropping hints about Thanos taking control of the universe in Infinity War ever since The Avengers.
So, however you feel about X-Men: Apocalypse — personally, it was my favorite comic book movie of the year so far — it was both refreshing and kinda surreal not to have any real idea of where things are headed. Sure, the thrilling final act hinted very heavily at the Dark Phoenix coming out to play, but that could happen in any of the next five movies. We really don't know jack about what's coming next.
And really, isn't that one of the best things about the X-Men? They don't spend four years collecting a bunch of weird, pretty, galaxy-destroying stones. They take on a villain, they win and go back to their lives — and ten years later when none of them look a single day older, they reunite, Charles and Erik come to blows, again, and the whole, crazy cycle starts over.
But while the world casually ponders what's next for Xavier and his students, another X-Men movie is slowly taking shape. It's called X-Men: New Mutants, and here's every single thing — every last insignificant detail — we know about it.
What's A Josh Boone When It's Home?
Josh Boone is not a long-forgotten mutant, probably related to Scott Summers, with the ability to turn spoons into arrows, from an obscure, mid-'70s run of X-Men comics. He is, however, the director who'll be taking the reins on New Mutants.
Boone agreed a deal with Fox last year to helm the spin-off, off the back of his hit teen romance flick The Fault In Our Stars, which you may have seen, depending on how much you enjoy that kind of thing, or how bossy your girlfriend is. He's never done anything in the realm of action before, but he's also scripted a remake of Interview With The Vampire, so hopefully we're in good hands.
Who Are These So-Called New Mutants?
Well, they've been around a while. Introduced in 1982, the new mutants are formed by Charles Xavier after his team of X-Men disbands — Phoenix having committed suicide. The classic team in the comics consists of Karma, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Cannonball and Sunspot. As is so often the case with the X-Men, the new mutants have to deal with the threat of Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club.
As the name suggests, the entire gang is made of up of teens, all studying at Xavier’s School and not intended to fight in combat — that’s what the X-Men are for. And yet, simply being at Xavier’s school seems to invite combat, so there’s rarely a quiet moment for the New Mutants.
Wait, Is This Some Young Adult S***?
Yes and no. I mean they’re teenagers, so New Mutants is bound to have a YA vibe. On the other hand, it’s still an X-Men movie, and that means crazed villains who want mutants dead. Think of it a bit like X-Men by way of Hogwarts, and you might be along the right lines.
Boone is quite the Instagram tease, and recently revealed the exact DNA of his six-man mutant lineup:
You can expect to see Wolfsbane (she transforms into a human-wolf hybrid), Sunspot (solar energy gives him super-strength), Cannonball (he’s really good at jumping — no, seriously) and Mirage, who has the best power: She can create illusions based on her opponents’ greatest fears.
Also joining are Magik, sister of Colossus, whose "stepping discs" allow transportation through space and time, and Warlock, a shapeshifting technological alien who can manipulate energy in a bunch of very weird ways.
All in all, it’s quite the team — the young mutants’ powers no less great than those of the older, more experienced X-Men. In particular, the inclusion of Warlock and Magik feels like the perfect opportunity to take the X-Men movies into space for the first time.
Who's In This Weird-Ass Movie, Then?
Tone down your sass, bro! So far there's no news on casting, but Maisie Williams's name has been mentioned in various corners of the internet in connection with Wolfsbane. Nat Wolff also starred in both of Boone's previous movies, so he might be a decent bet.
One thing we do know is that Simon Kinberg has essentially confirmed that James McAvoy would reprise his role as the freshly-bald Professor X, which shouldn't be much of a surprise because without him the movie would simply be called Men: New Mutants, sans X, and that would suck.
As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, we still really don't have much clue what's next for the X-Men movies. The first movie in the new trilogy won't be directed by Bryan Singer, and presumably will happen within 2–3 years, but before then we'll get Wolverine 3 and most likely Deadpool 2.
The smart money would be on both of those to come before New Mutants, which seems likely to begin shooting sometime this year for a release next Fall. Hopefully we'll get more deets soon, before I start to feel too X-asperated.
And now that the obligatory X-pun is done and dusted, feel free to get on with your day — but first, tell me...