"Audiences really embraced the notion of a superhero movie or a comic book movie that was, in its core, a horror film," Kinberg told IGN.
New Mutants and Dark Phoenix were both delayed in March when studio 21st Century Fox pushed Phoenix from its planned November 2018 release to February 2019, shoving New Mutants from February to August 2019. The change marked the second shift for New Mutants, which had already been pushed from its April 2018 spot.
Directed by The Fault in Our Stars' Josh Boone, New Mutants brings a teen-centric and horror-inspired take on the X-Men franchise and adapts the early '80s Marvel comics for the first time on the big screen.
The film underwent significant reshoots earlier this year to overhaul its horror elements, reportedly in the wake of hit R-rated horrors Get Out and It — the latter of which remains the highest-grossing R-rated horror of all time. Reporters for The Tracking Board and TheWrap corroborated Fox was upping the scare factor after initially wanting to downplay the more horror-tinged elements.
Charlie Heaton, who plays Sam Guthrie, a.k.a. Cannonball, characterized the changes as the movie going "full-fledged horror."
"It's basically about these mutants in a facility for damaged mutants. It's a story about these characters coming to grips with who they are and it's a horror X-Men movie, which we haven't seen before," Heaton dished to EW.
"I feel like, for an X-Men movie, yeah, I think they're going full-fledged horror. Without saying too much — I really don't want to give away too much what it's about, it's very under wraps — but it is, in terms of anything we've seen in the X-Men world, it's definitely a horror film. It's scarier than anything we've seen in that genre."
Boone said during a convention appearance in December he developed the project as a franchise hopeful — the first in a trilogy.
"We brought it to Fox as a trilogy of films, really all based on that long run by [Bill] Sienkiewicz, and kind of incorporates some stuff from later issues in the '80s," he said.
"These are all going to be horror movies, and they're all be their own distinct kind of horror movies. This is certainly the 'rubber-reality' supernatural horror movie. The next one will be a completely different kind of horror movie. Our take was just go examine the horror genre through comic book movies and make each one its own distinct sort of horror film. Drawing from the big events that we love in the comics."2comments
It's not yet known how Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox will affect plans for future New Mutants installments or other in-the-works X-verse spinoffs.
New Mutants, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Alice Braga, and Antonio Banderas, opens August 2, 2019.