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Fox’s New Mutants Movie Has “Constantly Morphed” Throughout Development, Was Originally a Trilogy

Mighty Morphin' New Mutants.


Developments for Fox’s New Mutants movie continue to chug along, although there’s still no telling how the final movie will end up. You may recall that last August, we learned that The Fault in Our Stars‘ director Josh Boone would be helming and writing the adaptation, along with screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, who also worked on the script for The Fault in Our Stars.

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The movie is an adaptation of the Marvel comic book series that debuted in 1982 and featured a team of mutated youngsters: Cannonball, Karma, Moonstar, Wolfsbane, and Sunspot. But which storyline will the screenwriting team choose to adapt? Will the movie be about the formation of that original team, or will it include characters introduced later on, or what? Boone recently told Creative Screenwriting that Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz’s “Demon Bear Saga” was a favorite of his and of the rest of the writing team, so fans have been assuming that’ll be what the movie’s about.

Boone also mentioned that they “have a release date now” (although he didn’t say what it is) and that he’s about to “go location scout” for the film. He mentioned that in pitching the movie to Fox, he described it as “a trilogy of New Mutant films that would build on each other,” and that the original pitch had included a map of all the scenes and images from the comic books that he wanted to use, strung together in order. Sounds like it’ll be a pretty faithful adaptation, then, at least based on the pitch … but Boone might not get his way, at least when it comes to choosing the storyline.

Boone went on to say that unlike other movies he has done, New Mutants has had to go through a lot of committee approvals. Since it’s part of Fox’s X-Men universe, and a lot of money is at stake, there are a lot of opinions getting thrown into the mix that have to get taken into account:

New Mutants is different – when you work with a studio, you’re not in a bubble. The process of writing becomes a much different thing because you have so many people who have an opinion since the movie is so expensive.

It’s a balance of getting to do things in a bubble, which I’d say is the best way of writing anything, and then having to negotiate all the politics of studio filmmaking, which is its own special beast. With New Mutants, we wrote a few drafts, and I brought in Scott Neustadter and Mike Weber, who are the friends of mine that adapted The Fault in Our Stars, to do a draft while we did something else. My guess is that it will never be done until we’re done shooting! [Laughs]

It’s a different experience, because on my last two movies I went into shooting them with very locked scripts. I knew every beat of what they were going to be. This has been different because it’s constantly morphed as we’ve gone along. It will probably continue to morph as we’re making it.

Josh Boone is wording everything with a lot of politeness here, but it certainly sounds difficult, since he went in with a very specific idea about wanting to adapt the comic books in a particular order, and that idea has “morphed” many times since then. You might even say … it’s … mutated. (Sorry, sorry.)

As a big X-Men fan who thought X-Men: Apocalypse seemed overstuffed and a bit like too many ideas got thrown into the mix, I’m a little worried to hear about something similar happening to the New Mutants movie. I think having a smaller team with a more focused vision for a movie would be a better way to go than to get a committee of opinions involved, but I also realize that these big superhero fixtures have a lot of money on the line, so it would be almost impossible to not end up with a “too many cooks” situation. In spite of that, I’m still hopeful that New Mutants will “morph” into something great.

(via CBR, image via /Film)

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Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (

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