The New Mutants might just be the unluckiest film in recent memory. After years of delays, the X-Men spinoff was finally scheduled to hit theaters in April. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and the movie was pulled from the schedule due to pandemic-related theater closures — without getting a new release date. There’s one bright spot, however, and a recent The New Mutants leak may reveal how Fox planned to finally introduce the Fantastic Four’s Doctor Doom to the X-Men universe.
A spread from the visual effects magazine Cinefex (via Reddit) revealed several new photos from New Mutants. The April issue, which was scheduled to hit newsstands prior to the film’s original release date, included one striking image of Magik, aka Ilyana Rasputin, bridging the gap between two worlds.
Magik stands solemnly while carrying what seems to be one of her teleportation discs. Surrounding her is an electric blue light that has been separated to reveal a red-hued world beyond. That prompted fans on Reddit to speculate she’s opened a portal to the comic setting known as Limbo or the Otherplace, a magical realm located in a pocket universe. The dimension is often considered to be at the center of the nexus that connects all other worlds. It’s also where Magik was raised by the demonic villain Belasco, so it makes sense that she has access to this realm.
In the comics, Doctor Doom is one of Limbo’s most notable inhabitants. The Fantastic Four villain once conquered the magical dimension, intent on acquiring the very heart of Limbo — a precious metal called Promethium that took the form of an animal heart — as an energy source for his native Latveria.
Back in 2017, Legion creator and writer Noah Hawley confirmed he was developing a stand-alone Doctor Doom movie and had finished the script in 2018. However, the Disney acquisition of 20th Century Fox seems to have halted production, leaving the future of Doctor Doom’s involvement in either X-Men or MCU movies in, well, limbo.
It's possible that The New Mutants’ introduction of Limbo may pave the way for Doctor Doom’s appearance in the X-Men universe. Or, at the very least, the film will hint that the villain once resided in the Otherplace. After all, Doom has a lot of deep connections to the mutants and has even been speculated to show up at some point in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Perhaps the allusion to Doctor Doom could make all the difference. Of course, there’s no way to tell if Magik’s portal is actually Limbo at all. Still, the idea that her teleportation powers might be a big part of the film would be a clever way to introduce one of the most threatening Marvel villains of all time.
The New Mutants does not yet have a rescheduled release date.