One of the more interesting questions still left about Josh Boone’s The New Mutants is when exactly the movie’s meant to take place within the larger picture of Fox’s X-Men cinematic universe. Unlike the last few films in the franchise that were all clearly set in distinct decades, The New Mutants is difficult to get a solid read on, and according to Boone, that’s somewhat intentional.
While speaking about The New Mutants to Slashfilm, Boone explained how, at one point during the early production process, the movie was meant to take place closer to the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, with Storm (then portrayed by Alexandra Shipp) playing an important role in the story of how a group of young “new” mutants come into the X-Men’s orbit. Though Shipp’s Storm went on to be featured in Dark Phoenix, Boone described how the negative response to Apocalypse led to Fox wanting to avoid associating the two X-films.
“Originally, Professor X and Storm were in it, and Storm very much played the Alice Braga role,” Boone said. “Over the course of months, a new studio head came in, they said they didn’t want any X-Men movies to take place in the past anymore, as if that was the reason that Apocalypse was bad.”
Boone also described how, even though there are references to Professor X in The New Mutants, there aren’t any cameo appearances from characters introduced in other films, which is interesting to consider. Such massive overhauls to The New Mutants story makes sense when you recall that the movie was still stuck in limbo just as Disney acquired the rights to the Marvel cinematic IP like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four that had previously been held by Fox (and also Fox itself).
Given how long the movie was stuck in development hell, and its potential to underperform at the box office, it makes sense that the studio would try to play it a bit conservative in terms of dropping major characters into the mix. But that also means that The New Mutants is very much going to be focused on its own core cast of characters, which could ultimately end up being a good thing in the long run.
The New Mutants is, currently at least, set to hit theatres on August 27.