Stars of the long-delayed The New Mutants say the horror-tinged X-Men spinoff, about a group of teenage mutants who grapple with their burgeoning superhuman powers while trapped inside a facility they can't escape, has an eerie parallel to the real-world COVID-19 pandemic. Now the first big studio movie releasing into U.S. theaters after months of quarantine closures, The New Mutants is a "timely" tale about five mutants — Illyana Rasputin (Anya Taylor-Joy), Danielle Moonstar (Blu Hunt), Wolfsbane (Maisie Williams), Sunspot (Henry Zaga), and Cannonball (Charlie Heaton) — who are contained inside a claustrophobic facility under the watch of Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga).
"I think people will kind of connect with the characters' feelings more than ever," Braga said during a virtual press conference with the film's cast and director Josh Boone. Added Taylor-Joy, "I haven't thought about it that way before, but it kind of makes perfect sense now. I feel like the movie is supposed to come out now."
The New Mutants filmed from mid to late 2017 and was due to release in April 2018 before a series of push backs from 20th Century Fox, now 20th Century Studios following a 2019 acquisition by Disney, delayed the Marvel Comics adaptation until 2020. The film was dated for April 3 until global theater closures forced a move to August 28, putting The New Mutants into U.S. theaters days before the gradual domestic release of Christopher Nolan's Tenet.
"That's why the universe made this movie wait. It was because they knew they needed to wait for a time nobody could leave their house," Boone said. "I mean, we went and made this about the kids trapped inside this institution, this facility, and then Henry and I went and made a show about a pandemic [The Stand]."
"I think we need to stop making things that could happen in real life," Boone added with a laugh. "It's too topical. We need to go for full fantasy next time."
In this terrifying, action-fueled film based on the MARVEL comic series, five young people who demonstrate special powers are brought to a secret institution to undergo treatments they are told will cure them of the dangers of their powers. Invited by Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) to share their stories about when their powers first manifested, the five “patients” come to understand that they are in a class of people called mutants, who have historically been marginalized and feared. As they relive their origin stories, their memories seem to turn into terrifying realities. Soon, they question what is real and what isn’t, and it becomes clear that the institution isn’t what it seems. Now the question is — why are they being held captive? And who is trying to destroy them? The tension and horror mount in this white-knuckle thrill ride directed by Josh Boone and co-written by Boone and Knate Lee.
Tickets are now on sale for The New Mutants, only in theaters August 28.