I’m not going to sit here and say The New Mutants, the final X-Men movie of the Fox era, was anything to write home about. But it’s certainly gotten a worse rap than it deserves, largely from people who never even saw it. And for a while, it looked as if Disney would simply pretend it didn’t exist, but now it’s been revealed the superhero horror will hit the streamer next month in time for Halloween.
The New Mutants will be added to the Disney+ lineup on October 14th, where it’ll join another Marvel horror, Werewolf by Night. Shot in 2017 for a planned 2018 release, the film is the last movie in Fox’s X-Men cinematic universe. The cast was tremendous. Anya Taylor-Joy played Magik/Illyana Rasputin, Charlie Heaton was Cannonball/Sam Guthrie, Maisie Williams was Wolfsbane/Rahne Sinclair, with Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar and Henry Zaga as Sunspot/Roberto DaCosta. The five super-powered mutant teens are trapped in a creepy psychiatric facility run by Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) and experience nightmarish visions while undergoing treatments that are supposed to cure them.
Bad buzz plagued the film nearly from the beginning. Reshoots and rewrites delayed production, causing it to miss the target release date. There seemed to be some conflict as to what the movie was supposed to be. Writer/director Josh Boone always wanted to do the first major superhero horror, but others at Fox were skeptical and so fans were unsure what to make of the film. It didn’t help that Fox and Disney were eyeing a merger, leaving the film’s completion and eventual release in doubt. Then, when it finally did open it was during the worst of the pandemic in 2020. That combined with bad reviews (mine is sorta middling) led to a $49M worldwide box office on a budget estimated at $80M. On Rotten Tomatoes, The New Mutants has only earned a 35% score from critics and 56% from audiences. Oof.
This combined with the crappy Dark Phoenix was a sad end to Fox’s generally great run of X-Men movies. Here’s hoping The New Mutants can reach a new audience and maybe get a little bit of love on Disney+.