X-Men Horror Movie 'The New Mutants' Is “the Hardest PG-13 Ever Made”

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Twentieth Century Fox’s The New Mutants is an X-Men movie, but you wouldn’t know that by watching the trailer. Considerably dark and eerie like a true horror movie, director Josh Boone says his movie is as dark as he could push it with a PG-13 rating.

In an interview with Empire, Boone said The New Mutants, which recently pushed back its theatrical release to February 22, 2019, is the “hardest PG-13 ever made.” He also had two goals when making the movie: To scare audiences as well as make them cry. Considering Boone previously directed The Fault in Our Stars, perhaps The New Mutants could deliver on both.

“I mean, we’ve pushed it. The horror is pretty dark, but there’s also an emotional core, too. If I can scare you and make you cry: that’s the goal.”

Based on the spin-off X-Men comic that also introduced Cable and Deadpool in the ‘90s, The New Mutants follows a group of mutant teenagers who are away at a mental institution than Professor Xavier’s cozy X-Mansion. “They can’t be with the other kids at the X-Mansion. They’re too fucked up,” Boone said. “They’ve all killed people, whether intentionally or unintentionally.”

Unlike other superhero movies, The New Mutants is also intent to keep all that yellow and blue spandex at bay. “There are no costumes,” the director added. “That alone makes it different.

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has kept to a uniform presentation with familiar plot beats across 20 movies, the cinematic X-Men franchise has taken liberty with the “superhero” genre. Last year’s Logan, the final movie starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, was an inspired futuristic noir that looked more like an old western than a mainstream superhero movie. It was also R-rated.


The television series Legion on FX, which also features a young mutant with unstable powers in a mental institution, ditches the episodic adventures of capes and costumes like other shows (i.e., Arrow, The Flash) for a serialized drama with a dramatically non-linear structure.

In recent years, the X-Men franchise has split: On one hand, there are still big X-Men movies, which began in 2000’s X-Men that set the foundation for every superhero movie in the 21st century and will continue with Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix this year. On the other side, there are the deeply experimental stuff like Legion and The New Mutants. There may be a lot of superhero movies, but no one can say they’re all the same.

The New Mutants will be released on February 22, 2019.

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