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The Many Delays of X-Men’s ‘The New Mutants’

The New Mutants now has its fifth release date set for 28 August 2020.

For those not in the know, The New Mutants is an X-Men horror film made by Fox that features five young mutants who are slowly discovering their mutant abilities while trying to save themselves from a secret facility. It also features a strong ensemble of mutants like Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams), Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Cannonball (Charlie Heaton). 

The teaser trailer, which dropped in October 2017, promised plenty of scares and a wildly different atmosphere than what fans were familiar with in the X-Men franchise. It also promised a release date of 13 April 2018, but two years on and fans have yet to see The New Mutant’s debut on the big screen.

With its latest, and hopefully last, release date announced, let’s take a look at the many release dates that the film has had to endure.

The first of many to come

Originally scheduled for April 13, the film experienced its first delay so Fox could secure an audience for Deadpool 2 which was being released around that time. This delay also allowed the studio to do some reshoots to make the film more horror-focused, as well as tightening up the characters and fixing up special effects.

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A horror film with plenty of VFX? Source: Fox

Given that the film’s production limited how much time VFX artists had to work in post-production, many thought that the one-time delay would be better for the film as a whole.

(Rescheduled to 22 February 2019)

More reshoots

Another delay came about not long after the first, with Fox rescheduling the film yet again so that the release didn’t coincide with Dark Phoenix. Many have also mentioned that the reshoots were much more extensive than they had originally planned, and writer-director Josh Boone needed more time to complete the film.

Fox has had a fairly difficult reputation with comic book movie reshoots, most notoriously Josh Trank’s 2015 adaptation of Fantastic Four (for ‘Fant4stic’ as I like to call it).

However, unlike the 2015 disaster that spawned from competing creative decisions and studio interference, Fox allowed Boone to rewrite and redirect the reshoots as he saw fit, and many were hinging on this as ensuring the film would still uphold Boone’s original vision for the film.

(Rescheduled to 2 August 2019

The Disney Acquisition

When Disney acquired Fox in March of 2019, there were concerns about The New Mutants (although not so New at this point) maintaining its August release date. These concerns would go on to be proven correct when Disney announced their release schedule in May, pushing the property back yet again to April 3 2020 to better fit with Disney’s release schedule.

This date is also nearly two whole years behind their original date in April 2018. 

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The ‘Old Mutants’ taking another big hit. Source: Den Of Geek

By this point, the ill-fated New Mutants was more popular online for its constant delays than it was for its actual concept. It’s a shame because Fox really could have used a fresh take on the X-Men franchise, and the trailer definitely promised an intriguing and wildly different idea than what X-Men properties were know for. 

But hopefully, just maybe, 2020 won’t throw us any new curveballs right?

(Rescheduled to 3 April 2020)

The global pandemic

In fairness, no one could have foreseen the global pandemic of 2020. Amidst all the struggling businesses (like the notorious case of AMC Theatres), plenty of movies have been postponed to later dates. In mid-March of 2020, Disney announced that they would be rescheduling their Disney films to later dates, including the likes of Mulan, many of the MCU properties, and The New Mutants.

With sparse updates on when the film was going to be scheduled to, many were hoping that they’d give up on a theatrical release and drop it on Disney’s streaming platform.

It was only until today when they announced the fifth (and hopefully final) release date for 28 August 2020, over two years past its original release date.

(Rescheduled to 28 August 2020)

Will we finally be seeing The New Mutants? Source: CinemaBlend

The final delay?

I for one am glad that they’re still choosing to do a theatrical release. Fans have held out for so long that the film’s gained some novelty just for its delays alone.

In March of this year, just days before the fifth delay, director Josh Boone announced on Instagram that the film had finally been completed, so we know that the film is definitely polished and ready to be shown in cinemas to a big audience.

Of course, given its track record I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they rescheduled it yet again for other circumstances.

We just have to wait for audiences to be allowed back into those cinemas and hopefully, The New Mutants will finally get its shot at the big screen.

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