With X-Men: Apocalypse said to be Bryan Singer’s last film starring the mutant superhero squad and Hugh Jackman preparing to bid the part of Wolverine adieu after The Wolverine 3, many are wondering what the future holds for Fox’s X-Men franchise. Today, the studio gave us our answer in the form of the newly greenlit The New Mutants, a standalone spinoff film that will expand the X-Men universe by adapting the long-running comic book series. According to Deadline, Fox has tapped The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone to co-write and direct the film, which will be co-written by Knate Gwaltney, and produced by Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner.
For those who don’t know, New Mutants is a Marvel Comics series created in 1982 by Chris Claremont and Bob McCleod, the first of several spinoffs hoping to cash in on the popularity of Uncanny X-Men. First appearing in Marvel Graphic Novel #4, the fan-favorite team of young mutants were former students of Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters who formed their own superteam in addition to the X-Men. The original team included Cannonball, the good ol’ Southern boy capable of near invulnerability while rocketing through the air at top speeds; Karma, a teenaged Vietnamese girl who could possess the bodies of her enemies; Wolfsbane, a Scottish girl who could turn into a werewolf-like monster; Sunspot, a young Brazilian man capable of turning solar energy into super strength; and Mirage, a Cheyenne woman who could create three-dimensional illusions of her opponent’s innermost fears or desires.
Much like the original X-Men comic when it first debuted in 1963, New Mutants immediately resonated with a generation of readers thanks to its honest depictions of teenage angst and relatable, diverse cast of characters. Over the course of its initial 100-issue run, New Mutants introduced readers to cult favorite characters like Cable, Deadpool, Magik, and many more. With its emphasis on a younger cast of characters, a New Mutants movie is a clever way to revitalize the X-Men franchise, bolstering its base so that a new generation of actors can grow up into the roles. Honestly, though, the prospect of seeing “The Demon Bear Saga” played out on the silver screen has me exceedingly jazzed.
In a statement, Kinberg expressed his excitement over the expanding X-Men universe and working with Boone: “We’re so excited to explore this new part of the X-Men universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters.”
Though certain cast members of the current X-Men lineup may be winding down their tenure in the X-Men cinematic universe, there are still plenty of chances to see them use their mutant abilities on the big screen. On February 12, 2016, Deadpool will make its way into theaters in all of its chimichanga-eating, R-rated glory; May 27, 2016 will bring X-Men: Apocalypse, starring Oscar Isaac as the titular villain; and March 3, 2017 will bring the third and presumably final Wolverine solo flick to cineplexes across the land. Plus, rumors of a live-action X-Men TV show have fans wondering if we’ll see Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters make its way to the small screen too. Now, if I could just get an Empire-style show revolving around Dazzler’s rise to ultra-diva-dom, I can die a happy X-fan.
What would you like to se from a New Mutants movie? Who should be on the team? Let us know in the comments below.
Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of 100 Things Avengers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. You can follow him on Twitter (@Osteoferocious).