It’s been several years since Fox announced the X-Men films would get a spinoff with The New Mutants. The project has run into a ton of roadblocks ever since — shifting release dates, reshoots, Disney’s acquisition of Fox, significant writing and character changes — causing multiple release date delays. At long last, The New Mutants finally hits theaters in early April.
While the film was reportedly set to include Alexandra Shipp’s Storm from X-Men: Apocalypse, the mutants Warpath, Warlock, and even James McAvoy’s Professor Xavier at one point, the big-screen adaptation of The New Mutants settled on the original comic characters Cannonball, Sunspot, Magik, Mirage, and Wolfsbane from 1982. The series continued in that vein until 1991 before being reassembled as the X-Force. Deadpool appeared frequently, with Marvel relaunching the series in 2009 with the original team members.
The New Mutants shows the teens fighting their way out of a terrifying facility meant to exploit their powers. It's a far cry from Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Children, with the film being more horror-esque in nature. Here's a rundown of all the characters you need to know, what their powers are, and how they’re connected to the broader X-Men universe.
As her name suggests, Wolfsbane is a shape-shifting mutant who can turn into a wolf. Yes, she’s a lot like the traditional werewolf in the sense that she’s half-human and half-wolf, but don’t expect the character to wait around for a full moon to turn feral.
Like Wolverine, Wolfsbane can heal herself when wounded, but only when she’s in her wolf form. The mutant’s real name is Rahne, a Scottish teen who was raised by her abusive and extremely religious father. In the film, she’ll be struggling between her deeply religious upbringing and her powers. Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams will be bringing her to life onscreen, which is fitting considering the Stark banner is that of a wolf.
Magik’s mutant gifts are similar to those of Nightcrawler, though she can tap into a supernatural dimension called Limbo to pass between locations. She’s also a very talented sorceress.
Played by Split and The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy, Ilyana Rasputin is the younger sister to Colossus, who was first introduced in live-action in X2: X-Men United and later (played by a different actor) in Deadpool.
Mirage is a Cheyenne teenager from Colorado who has the power of telepathy. Essentially, she can wield her psychic gifts to create illusions that can be manipulated to create people’s greatest fears or their deepest hopes. Her telepathic abilities allow her to effectively speak with a variety of animals. Native American actor Blu Hunt will portray Danielle Moonstar in the film.
If you’ve ever seen the animated X-Men: Evolution, then you’re probably familiar with Cannonball. The teen can create thermo-chemical energy that allows him to blast through the air at high speeds. He can create an impenetrable shield that protects him and others from the heat and energy of his powers. Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton (aka, Will’s big brother Jonathan) will portray Sam Guthrie in The New Mutants.
Roberto da Costa/Sunspot
Like Cannonball, Sunspot also made a brief appearance in Evolution. The character has the ability to absorb and channel solar energy into physical strength. He’s also able to create solar blasts and manipulate heat. In his mutant form, he is completely devoid of light, looking more like a shadow creature with bright eyes. Roberto da Costa originally hails from Brazil and will be played by 13 Reasons Why and Teen Wolf actor Henry Zaga.
Who is the villain in The New Mutants?
It's not clear who will play the film's villain, or if The New Mutants will even have one in the traditional sense. However, Antonio Banderas was cast to play an undisclosed character in a post-credits scene, so we may discover that he was up to some diabolical scheme against our angsty mutant heroes all along.
How does New Mutants tie into the other X-Men films?
The film is set in the present day and seems to have no direct connection to any of the previous X-Men films. Beyond the characters being mutants, the movie is separate from the events within the X-Men's shared universe. However, it’s possible that there will be small references to the X-Men universe at large.
The New Mutants hits theaters on April 3.