'The New Mutants' Is Ready for Release, but Disney Is "Unimpressed"

Will the X-Men horror movie ever hit theaters?

The Fox/Marvel horror movie The New Mutants is apparently all finished and ready to release, but Disney is keeping the film for at least another year.

Variety reports that Disney is unhappy with the performance of 20th Century Fox films in the aftermath of Disney’s acquisition. This has resulted in any Fox movies completed during and after the buyout “struggling” to gain support, including most of all The New Mutants directed by Josh Boone.

According to the report, The New Mutants, based on the X-Men comic book series of the same name, is complete, but Disney is “unimpressed” by the film and believes it has “limited box office potential.” The movie uniquely features more of a haunted house horror aesthetic than a traditional mainstream superhero movie.

It’s also worth noting that the film underwent significant reshoots to emphasize its horror movie influences based on fans’ positive reactions to early trailers — the first teaser for New Mutants was released in 2017 — and even more reshoots were scheduled in 2019. But those reshoots have not happened in the wake of the Disney/Fox merger.

So, you could in theory watch The New Mutants right now. But Disney is keeping the film until April 2020, at which it will be released in theaters, and not on Hulu (which Disney owns) as previously rumored.

The movie, originally slated for April 2018 before it was delayed repeatedly to April 3, 2020, is an adaptation of the Marvel comic series that introduced a new generation of mutant teenagers to the X-Men universe. New Mutants follows a group of five mutant teens trapped in a top-secret facility against their will who must work together in order to break free.

Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, Glass), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), and Alice Braga (Elysium) star in the film. In 2018, Antonio Banderas replaced Jon Hamm in a post-credits cameo as a villain.

Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair, aka Wolfsbane, in 'New Mutants'.

20th Century Fox

As it stands, The New Mutants exists as an anomaly in the Disney-Fox slate, and as a curiosity in how to market and release a challenging popcorn movie.

Although it is a Marvel movie, it isn’t from Disney’s Marvel Studios. Instead, it exists within the now-defunct X-Men film series seperate from the universe of the Avengers. It was also very telling when, back at Comic-Con in July, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige called the Doctor Strange sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (also slated for release in 2020) the first Marvel horror movie while ignoring The New Mutants outright.

Since Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, the studio’s releases have flubbed commercially and critically. X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Stuber, and The Art of Dancing in the Rain have all been flops, with the only profitable release being the $14 million Christian drama Breakthrough. Perhaps a gang of scary teenagers could save Fox, or they could destroy it. Either way, a lot still rests on the X-Men.

The New Mutants will be released in theaters on April 3, 2020.

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