New Mutants Movie Confirmed!
Not since the announcement that there would be an X-Men movie back in 1999 have I been this excited! The New Mutants was and always will be my favourite run in X-Men history and it’s one I never expected to get picked up for a movie. I thought maybe X-Force, even any of the X-Factor versions would be made before the New Mutants, but they have a director, a vague release date and a script that is being penned as speak!
This news is a double edged sword in that I’m ECSTATIC that the new mutants will become part of the cinematic universe yet at the same time I’m TERRIFIED that they do an X3 number on it. I’m worried it will turn out more Vampire Diaries than Buffy with Josh Boone actually planned to direct the former’s movie adaptation before tackling the New Mutants. HOWEVER, Boone’s biggest success so far is a movie about teenagers who die… So the New Mutants could be a really good fight considering half of them died (and then came back).
So Boone will co-write the New Mutants movie script with Knate Gwaltney and Simon Kinberg will produce with Lauren Shuler Donner. Kinberg was quoted in Deadline saying,“We’re so excited to explore this new part of the X-Men universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters.”
Which Characters will we see?
If the script is well thought out and the characters are treated with the love and respect they deserve (please please please), hopefully Boone & co will take their time with developing this team into it’s own entity. Which means start with the basic characters who have brilliant yet relatable storylines and save the weird (and by far the best ones) for New Mutants 2.
Unlike the X-Men movies whose original line-up has been twisted beyond recognition in order to include fan favourites such as Storm, Nightcrawler and Hugh Jackman, the founding members of the New Mutants are recognisable, individual and really interesting characters which will give the movie plenty of scope.
Dani Moonstar was always the leader of the group, even though she technically shared the title with fellow co-founder Cannonball. Seeing as the series was created and written almost exclusively (the good issues that is) by Chris Claremont, it’s no surprise to see a strong female character take the lead. Not only is she a young female leader, she’s also Native American and struggles to balance her traditions and beliefs with her role as team leader.
Dani has the ability to project illusions of what people fear or desire the most. At first her powers are uncontrollable and often leads to humiliation and embarrassment which can leave her isolated from the rest of the group. This chick is a strong fighter, a brilliant tactician and a wonderful character to lead the team.
Sam Guthrie is still a popular character today, even though he debuted in 1982 (just like I did). He’s since gone on to join X-Force, the X-Men and most recently the Avengers. He grows from a simple country bumpkin with a good heart into an intelligent leader and resourceful fighter, having been schooled by Professor X, Magneto and Cable. (Diversity side note, Sam is the only member of the original team to come from America. He is also in the minority as a male and white which is something Claremont was always interested in exploring and something I think superhero movies need way more of).
Sam has the ability to fly in such a way that he becomes invulnerable. When he “blasts” he becomes a human cannonball, knocking down anyone in his way and often finding it difficult to make sharp left turns.
We saw Sunspot in X-Men: Days of Future Past, although we didn’t hear him say anything yet. Roberto DaCosta is Brazilian, good looking, rich and conceited (why wouldn’t you be). He often acts brashly but bravely and despite his macho exterior is always happy to take orders from a woman.
Roberto has the ability to transform into a super-strong form that is charged by sunlight. He later develops energy projection and flight but, despite his strength, it often reminded of him that he is not invulnerable like Cannonball.
Rahne Sinclair is the adopted daughter of Professor X’s lifelong friend Moira MacTaggert (the scottish scientist, not the bullshit American CIA agent or whatever the fuck she was in First Class). She is a cripplingly devout catholic and her biological father tried to kill her upon finding out she was both a mutant and a “werewolf.” She’s royally screwed up as a result.
Rahne has the ability to transform at will into a wolf and as such has extremely heightened senses. She can also shift into a transitionary form in which she walks on two legs instead of four, can talk and has a combination of human and wolf characteristics such as enhanced strength.
Xian Coy Manh is a character that is often overlooked in the New Mutants world which is unfortunate as her backstory is one of the best (note: not counting Illyana’s of course). She and her brother and sister survived the Vietnam war and as such she is fiercely protective of them and takes on the role of mother to them both. At times she leaves the team in order to care for them or search for them when they go missing. Her painful past and the fact that she lives in America despite what they did to her during the war is a brilliant Claremont twist and makes her a strong, supportive and loving character.
Xian has the ability to take mental possession of others. While they are under her control Xian has access to their thoughts and can control all of their actions. At the early stages she is only able to possess one person at a time and encounters difficulty if they have strong wills or any kind of psychic shielding.
New Mutants 2
I think these are plenty of characters to be getting on with in the first movie, although the real fun comes when you introduce bizarre and brilliant characters such as the techno-organic alien Warlock, the hot-headed Roman empress Magma and (my personal favourite) the demon-sorceress of awesomeness that is Magik (oh yeah, and Doug).
When you introduce the New Mutants you kind of have to introduce the Hellions too; a rival team of young mutants schooled at Emma Frost’s Massachusetts Academy.
These guys were also complex and interesting characters, however their greatest storyline was how they were all slaughtered at the hands of the time-travelling Fitzroy, so I’m not sure if they’d want to start off by wiping out a team of teenagers in the first movie … or maybe they would. Play to your strengths I guess.
Due to previous commitments (the aforementioned Vampire Diaries project) Boone won’t be able to start work on the New Mutants for some time, making the earliest release date around 2018. Hopefully this gives the creators, writers and producers enough time to really weave these characters into their own franchise. With Hugh Jackman wrapping up as Wolverine after 17 years of Snikts, Fox will need a team of mutants that can go on to create their own franchise without Wolverine. After New Mutants, New Mutants 2, they could then introduce the character of Cable and have them evolve into X-Force, then X-Force 2 etc, which would take us up to at least 2025? That’ll be enough money for Fox right?