X-MEN: THE NEW MUTANTS Will Be Straight-Up Horror, Says Its Director

Are you afraid of the dark? If not, you soon will be. As revealed by  Entertainment Weekly, the New Mutants movie currently in development at 20th Century Fox won’t just be a slightly darker spin-off of the X-Men franchise, but a full-fledged horror flick in its own right.

Horror might seem like an odd choice to fans who only know the New Mutants as the younger team who spend their time learning how to use their powers and wishing they could be X-Men themselves, but it actually makes a lot of sense. When artist Bill Sienkiewicz took over drawing the interiors for New Mutants in 1984, he brought a very dark, surreal aesthetic to the title, which director Josh Boone likened to “Stephen King meets John Hughes.”Plus, let’s be real; you don’t cast Anya Taylor Joy in a movie without it being just a little bit scary. Especially if you cast her as Ilyana “Magik” Rasputin, a sorceress with the ability to teleport in and out of a demon realm known as the Limbo dimension, after having lived there for most of her childhood. Then there’s also Maisie Williams’ character, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair, who grew up in an abusive religious home and who transforms into a wolf… which means the only two confirmed New Mutants team members to appear in the film so far are a demon queen and a werewolf girl. Yup, sounds about right.

Now that we know Boone’s movie will be inspired by Bill Sienkiewicz’s run, rumors have also begun to circulate that the villain will be one of the most iconic character to face off against the New Mutants: the Demon Bear, a supernatural entity of immense strength who feeds on negative human emotions. Picture the Shadow King from Legion, except instead of clinging parasitically to a host mutant, he mostly just terrorizes them to death. You know, because he’s a giant bear.

That would seem to jive with what Boone also told EW about how he co-filmmaker Knate Lee are approaching things, saying, “There are no costumes. There are no supervillains. We’re trying to do something very, very different.” What’s more different than a giant psychic demon bear, I ask you?

Speaking of which, it’s very encouraging to see how much Fox has committed to trying out new genres in its X-Men projects over the past few years; first with Deadpool as a fourth-wall-breaking comedy, then with Logan as a gritty Western (and, if you’re counting TV, with Legion as a straight-up psychedelic acid trip). After all, there are so many different kinds of X-men characters in Marvel’s vast comic book history, and slapping them all into the same generic “superhero story” would be a disservice not just to those characters, but to the many different forms that filmmaking can take.

“We made a comic book with what our vision of the series would be,” Boone also said. “We love that Fox wants to make all these different X-Men spinoffs as drastically different as they can.”

What do you think about the New Mutants’ horror roots? Let us know all about it in the comments below!

Images: Marvel Comics

Could we possibly see an Avengers/X-Men team-up movie?

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