Fox wants to take its X-Men franchise in a dramatically different direction, and it appears “horror” will be where The New Mutants goes. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) revealed that his take on the next generation of Marvel’s cinematic mutants, which is aiming for a PG-13 rating, won’t do the traditional superhero thing. Instead, it will be a straight-up horror movie.
“We are making a full-fledged horror movie set within the X-Men universe,” Josh Boone told EW. “There are no costumes. There are no supervillains. We’re trying to do something very, very different.”
The direction isn’t totally out of left field for Boone. In his discussion with the magazine, Boone described his childhood under strict Evangelical parents, where he found solace in both Marvel comics and Stephen King novels alike. Boone says that his biggest inspiration for his interpretation of The New Mutants comes from artist Bill Sienkiewicz, whose work was “a darker and more surreal and impressionistic X-Men series than we’d ever seen before. It felt like Stephen King meets John Hughes.”
It’s not uncommon for today’s superhero movies to explore other genres. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy behaves more like pulp space opera movies than as superhero movies. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was an espionage thriller influenced by Three Days of the Condor and All the President’s Men. And this year’s Logan, also from 20th Century Fox, was more structured like a western than the usual X-Men movie.
Still, it seems odd that of all the properties to shy away from, costumes and supervillains, Fox and Boone think The New Mutants — which will star Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, The Witch) — is the way to go. Sure, some New Mutants comics weren’t like the typical wham-bam superhero stuff, but no costumes? That’s a shame. The New Mutants’ black and yellow suits were some of the nicest in X-Men history.
The New Mutants is scheduled to enter production in July.