The first trailer for Josh Boone’s The New Mutants, the latest in Fox’s attempt to spinoff its X-Men universe, reaffirms that the studio isn’t interested in making the same mutant movie over and over again.
Instead, much like this year’s Logan, The New Mutants takes its influences from other genres; an X-Men adjacent movie. Unlike Logan, which followed “Old Man Logan” and X-23 on a cross-country journey through an almost post-apocalyptic world, The New Mutants has more in common with A Nightmare on Elm Street or Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Five mutants are trapped in a government-run research laboratory where they’re being tortured and tested upon. It’s up to the young mutants to band together and fight their way out of the lab before it’s too late.
The change in pace — and number of jump scares crammed into a two-minute trailer — may be daunting for X-Men devotees, but this is exactly what Boone had in mind for the film. Boone told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year that he was making a “full-fledged horror movie set within the X-Men universe.” Instead of having supervillains, costumes and, well, the X-Men, The New Mutants would pit the young group of eclectic kids against a truly nightmarish enemy.
Boone told the magazine that despite it being a big departure for the series, he was taking the role very seriously. The director said this wasn’t exactly a love letter to Stephen King or Marvel Comics, but he was approaching the material with the same kind of enthusiasm that his 12-year-old self had for both worlds. The New Mutants, Boone said, would be a twisted mix on both genres.
“I try to hold myself accountable to that kid,” Boone said. “Because that kid is what keeps me from becoming a Hollywood whore.”
Early reaction to the trailer has been, for the most part, pretty negative. Longtime fans of the misfit team, created by Chris Claremont and artist Bob McLeod in 1982, may have been hoping for a more run-of-the-mill mutant movie from Fox. General consensus praised Fox and Boone for attempting to bring a different vibe to the stale franchise, but numerous jump scares and Amityville Horror vibe the trailer gave off isn’t working for the vast majority of fans ... even if Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams (Arya) is a member of the cast.
“I appreciate that they’re going for a horror tone unlike the mainline X-Men films — but this honestly looks like every single asylum-related horror cliche and trope rolled together with a superhero coating,” one person wrote. “Maybe it was just a bad trailer, but it didn’t raise my hopes up at all.”
The New Mutants will be released on April 13, 2018.