From our first look at The New Mutants, it was clear that the X-Men spinoff would delve into darker territory than its predecessors, with director Josh Boone confirming that two of his biggest influences when developing the film were The Shining and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. The director also noted that One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a major influence, with all three storylines exploring a world in which characters are isolated from the outside world and must band together when faced with a variety of threats, some of which are supernatural and others which are more grounded in reality.
"I'd say biggest influences for this movie were [One Flew Over the] Cuckoo's Nest, The Shining, and Dream Warriors," Boone confirmed with Collider. "I do love Dream Warriors, I loved the first [Nightmare on Elm Street] as well, but this is very much a rubber reality horror movie for the first about 75% of the movie and then it becomes something else. It follows the logic of those early Wes Craven movies and all that."
Dream Warriors focused on a group of teens who lived in a mental institution, all battling their own issues, who become the target of Freddy Krueger. While each character is tormented in specific ways by Freddy that play on their weaknesses, they also band together to use their specific skills to "defeat" Krueger, even if he would reappear in many more sequels. With New Mutants also taking place in an institution where teens have their own unique abilities, it's easy to see those influences in the film.
The New Mutants was originally slated to hit theaters in 2018, only to be delayed for two years. Some reports claimed that this was to compensate for reshoots that would more fully embrace the horror elements of the concept, though reports of reshoots were debunked by Boone himself. He did, however, note that he was surprised by how much the studio let him get away with in the film.
"It's funny, [Fox is] so emboldened by Deadpool and Logan and stuff that they really let us… I can't believe they're letting us make this movie," the filmmaker admitted. "If you knew all the stuff in it, I still am like, 'Do they know how f-cked up this movie is?' It is, but we're trying to make something that would make you scream just as much as it'll grab your heart and make you cry. Truly, I've shown a couple of scenes to people where everybody who saw them cried and I was like, 'Oh my God, I'm going to make people cry.' So be excited, because that would be something that hadn't been done before, I think, for most horror movies."
The New Mutants is slated to hit theaters on April 3rd.
Do these remarks have you more excited for the film? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!