Whether you go to see The New Mutants in theaters or not, no one can deny that the final X-Men film of the Fox era has had quite the journey to the big screen. After dropping its very first teaser trailer in October 2017, the film was delayed again and again as rumors of extensive reshoots began to circulate on the internet. Earlier this year, director Josh Boone set the record straight, revealing that the postponement was a direct result of the Disney-Fox merger that took place last March.
Recently chatting with SYFY WIRE, the filmmaker (who co-wrote the film’s screenplay with his childhood friend, Knate Lee) admitted that he was never fazed by the numerous delays, which were only made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s funny, I was never quite worried about when it was gonna open because I still haven’t seen a movie quite like it,” he tells us. “I still felt like nobody had done it yet, so we’d still be good and I felt like we really did nail these comic book characters. I’ve been such a big fan since I was a kid; I wrote it with my best friend, who I’ve known since we were little babies. Our moms are best friends and we loved Marvel Comics so much growing up. We were just trying to really fulfill a lifetime dream that a 12-year-old had a long time ago.”
For Blu Hunt, The New Mutants is “exactly what we need right now.” The actress, who plays Danielle Moonstar (aka Mirage, a mutant with the ability to manifest a person’s worst fears), touched on the movie’s parallels to real life. Just as the movie’s young protagonists are not able to leave a sinister medical facility, many of us are stuck at home amid the very real health crisis.
“It’s what many people are going through right now. They’re physically trapped in one space, which we all are, pretty much. At least you should be, unless you’re going to the movies,” Hunt says with a chuckle. “I think it’s really cool that it’s taken this long, it’s got a story attached to it now. That doesn’t happen with movies a lot anymore. I feel like movies used to have weird stories and history and now this movie does, and it hasn’t even come out.”
Alice Braga, who plays the group’s mentor Dr. Cecilia Reyes (a mutant herself), has found it rather hard to keep certain plot points secret from her family over the past three years. Don’t worry, she let nothing slip, no matter how hard they tried.
“My nephews, they are all over me,” she says. “They are like, ‘Tell us!’ And I’m like, ‘No.’ And they’re like, ‘Tell us!’ They try in different moments, they try at different times of day. It’s crazy.”
Echoing Boone and Hunt’s sentiments, Braga adds:
“I believe the fans are gonna get excited to see a film that mixes up a psychological thriller-horror vibe with superpowers. I think we’ve never seen anything like this, especially at this time. The movies have been closed, people have been trapped at home, and I think it’s an exciting film, even if we waited for so long. I think it’s exciting that the fans are gonna watch it in a moment that everybody wants a movie … I think it’s a great, exciting movie for now.”
Despite the fact that he already got to see a cut of the film in March, Henry Zaga (who plays Roberto Da Costa, aka Sunspot, a mutant with solar abilities) is just as excited as the fans.
“I’ve waited just as long, and I’m a fan, too, so I’m on the ride with all of you,” he explains. “The outpouring of love and excitement has been so overwhelming. I think people have just gotten exponentially more excited because it’s taken so long and the curiosity has been massive. It’s really rewarding to feel that love. The movie’s been the same and Josh got his cut back from corporate stuff, so it’s worked out for the best.”
The movie has plenty of scares, but Zaga is more tuned in to the way New Mutants taps into the angsty teenage experience. But hey, raging hormones can be pretty terrifying in their own right!
“The movie has a lot of heart, and that was the thing,” he says. “When we watched it in March, we’re looking at each other and the audience like, ‘Oh my god, this is really hitting home.’ You really feel for these kids, you really see how young they are and how incredibly traumatized they are, and they’re just trying their best. How many people are just trying their best in their teens? I’m very excited about that feeling; that’s the surprise feeling. People are gonna leave the theater going, ‘Oh my god, that was really heartwarming and scary.’ It’s the best of both worlds.”
While the reopening of movie theaters remains a controversial issue here in the United States, Boone is confident that newly implemented safety measures (i.e. mandatory face masks, reduced seating, and social distancing) implemented by the major chains will bring people back to cinemas.
“Eighty percent of theaters will be open to meet us,” he concludes. “I’m excited for them to go to the movies instead of going to house parties without masks. Going to a movie theater is a lot safer than flying on a plane or eating inside a restaurant. The safety standards are way higher now. I’ll be going to see Tenet the day that it opens, I wanna see Bill & Ted [Face the Music]. I can’t wait for people to go back to the movies. I think with social distancing and masks and being done the way it’s supposed to be done, that it’s a pretty amazing form of entertainment that gives you the solace of being with others. [It] also allows you to be with others through sharing their experiences in the movie.”
The New Mutants finally arrives in theaters tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 28).
Additional reporting by James Grebey.