After numerous setbacks and reschedulings, Disney and 20th Century Studios' The New Mutants is once again missing from the release schedule. In light of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has Hollywood reeling, it's hardly a surprise, and not exactly something you can blame on either the film or even on Disney. Still, when numerous other films got new dates and The New Mutants got put on the back burner, it's easy to think that Disney -- who inherited this film, one with ties to an X-Men movie universe that no longer exists -- just hasn't got much faith in the Josh Boone-related project.
The film has already passed more than one of its planned release dates, and at this point every time something changes, fans start to wonder whether it might end up on Disney+ or Hulu. In that particular question, Hulu would be the more likely destination, since the movie certainly does not seem to fit the family-friendly mold that Disney wants on Disney+.
Still, Disney execs have regularly dismissed claims that they would send the film to a streaming platform, promising a threatrical release for a film that has already had two trailers released.
Those trailers, though, raise another question: are audiences underestimating The New Mutants?
At this point, Disney has sent Artemis Fowl, a movie with a sizable budget and fan base, to Disney+. At the same time, they have declined to send Black Widow and Mulan to streaming, promising their fans a theatrical experience, even if it has to come later than originally planned. You might argue that so far, it seems like Disney doesn't have a lot of faith in The New Mutants, but you could also look at all of this information and take it to mean that they have a lot of faith in the film, and believe there is significantly more upside to giving it a theatrical release than releasing it on a streaming platform just to get it out early.
While Fox's X-Men franchise brought us some pretty poorly-regarded movies, and went out with a whimper as X-Men: Dark Phoenix disappointed, their "adult-focused" and outside-the-box efforts like Deadpool and Logan have been critical and commercial hits that have left the audience wanting more. There really is not much reason at this point to assume that The New Mutants might not also fall into that category.
Josh Boone's only big commercial release as a director, The Fault in Our Stars, was a well-received adaptation of a beloved teen property, and while the tone is obviously very different, it's not hard to draw a line from that to this. With a talented cast and a cool visual aesthetic, the movie seems guaranteed to, at a bare minimum, exceed the very low expectations many fans have expressed for it.
We'll have more details soon, hopefully, but it seems likely that The New Mutants will be released theatrically in Winter 2020 or early 2021.
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