A three-year headache had seemingly been resolved for X-Men fans, as The New Mutants was finally set to be landing in theaters on April 3rd, earning new posters, trailers, TV spots, and cast interviews to get audiences excited about its release. Sadly, due to no fault on behalf of new distributor Disney, the film has been pulled from its planned release in response to health concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19/coronavirus, making fans think that the movie is doomed to never see the light of day. Given how long the film has been in limbo, it's easy to forget how long the film has faced setbacks, so let's take a trip down memory lane to remember all of its release dates.
Principal photography on the film took place in the summer of 2017, with the film's first trailer debuting that October and touted an April 13, 2018 release date. This would have been a Friday the 13th, which honored the fact that the film was set to be a more horror-themed exploration of the X-Men universe.
To the surprise of many, merely three months after its first trailer debuted and three months before it was set to land in theaters, the film was delayed in January of 2018 all the way to February 22, 2019. Movies will regularly have their release dates shifted in one direction or another by a few weeks, so for a film that had seemingly completed production to be pushed back by 10 months was a shocking move by 20th Century Fox. At the time, rumors about the project claimed that the studio was interested in diving deeper into the horror elements, possibly to even earn an R rating. Additionally, its mid-April release would have been followed weeks later by the release of Deadpool 2, which would have surely knocked The New Mutants out of the box office, especially in international markets.
Only two months after its first release date delay, March 2018 saw the announcement that not only would The New Mutants be delayed, but so would X-Men: Dark Phoenix. With Dark Phoenix's new release date being pushed from November 2018 to February 2019, pushing back The New Mutants from February 2019 to August 2019 was likely in hopes of staggering their box office successes. Additionally, with Dark Phoenix earning reshoots, it seemed like a given that New Mutants would also earn reshoots, yet no official word of such an endeavor was ever confirmed.
Between March of 2018 and May of 2019, no official updates about The New Mutants emerged. One major complication with its release is that, with Disney acquiring 20th Century Fox during this delay, theories emerged that, given the more family-friendly nature of its new distributor, an R-rated cut of the film was out of the picture. Additionally, Disney's streaming services Disney+ and Hulu served as viable options for where the film could quietly debut without as much fuss.
On May 7, 2019, Disney sent out a slate of its upcoming movies, which included The New Mutants, though this time it had earned another delay to April 3, 2020. With how little was known about the movie and other titles the studio had acquired, this was taken as a positive sign that the movie wouldn't be ignored, even if we had to wait even longer for its release.
Despite the various reports about all of the delays, director Josh Boone and the film's cast have clarified in recent months that no reshoots took place and that the released film was something Boone was proud of, as he had claimed he wouldn't have promoted its release if he wasn't.
Now, the film has been pulled from the release calendar entirely.
At least with this most recent delay, it has nothing to do with the film itself, as Disney has also pulled Mulan and Antlers from its release schedule, not only to prevent anyone potentially afflicted with the COVID-19 virus from spreading it to others, but also, knowing that audiences will be apprehensive about congregating for any film, the studio wants to optimize their releases' success.
Stay tuned for details on The New Mutants, which once again has no release date.
Are you surpised that the film has been delayed again? Let us know in the comments below!