THE NEW MUTANTS Exclusive Interview With Director Josh Boone About The Film's Long Journey To Theaters

THE NEW MUTANTS <font color=red>Exclusive</font> Interview With Director Josh Boone About The Film's Long Journey To Theaters

With The New Mutants finally in theaters worldwide today, we recently caught up with director Josh Boone to get his thoughts on the film's long journey to theaters and what would've happened next...

After three long years, a massive corporate merger, and a global pandemic, 20th Century Studios' X-Men swan song The New Mutants is finally in theaters - albeit in a limited capacity since a large chunk of theaters across the nation remain closed, including in the states of New York and California. 

Ahead of its release, we had an exclusive opportunity to sit down with director Josh Boone to chat about his love for the comics, his bond with the cast, his original plans for the trilogy, whether any classic X-Men characters were ever in the script, what changes were made post-merger, what we can look forward to on the Blu-ray and more!

Check out the full interview below:


ROHAN: Through years of interviews - and that giant comic collection behind you - it's become very evident that you're truly a huge fan of the source material. So, what was it about the New Mutants comics that really stuck out to you as a kid and made you connect with them?

JOSH BOONE:  It sort of dovetailed with my Stephen King obsession, because it was a little more occult and darker-leaning with Anya and Dani and all of these powers that were not your typical comic book powers I would say. It was really about teenagers in a way that the Uncanny X-Men book wasn’t about anymore, other than Kitty Pryde. I mean Kitty was the only one that blazed through.

I don’t know, man, I was looking for an opportunity to do something different. I never had a lightbulb moment that was like “it’s a comic book superhero movie but it’s horror!,” It was really because the Bill Sienkiewicz arc of the Demon Bear story was horror, so organically, that’s just sort of what the movie wanted to be. Do you know what I mean?

We were just trying to do the best adaptation of the material while keeping it grounded and trying to make sort of a John Hughes movie that you don’t really get in theaters anymore. All these movies, all these superhero movies star adults. There’s very little that represents actual teenagers, their struggles and things like that.

ROHAN: The cast were in their early twenties when you started filming and now are basically fully-formed adults, with a lot more life experience. Even though you guys haven't worked together since, you’ll likely be forever connected to them. What has the shared experience of these past three years been like, did you all stay in touch through it?

JOSH: Yeah, we talk about it all the time. If we could do a follow-up, we certainly would. I put Henry in The Stand after he did New Mutants and everybody’s kept in touch and had such a good time and would love to work together again.

Yeah, it’s been fun, the dark period was really about a year and some change where we really didn’t hear much at all, where none of the paperwork was done between Disney and Fox, but really on the other end, we had such a great time hanging out and being together.

They’ll still go out now, we all like the movie and worked really hard on it and are just excited for people to finally see it.

ROHAN: I know you originally envisioned the film as the beginning of a trilogy, and while Marvel Studios’ plans for the X-Men remain a mystery, have you had any discussions with Kevin Feige about seeing the trilogy through or possibly a different opportunity?

JOSH: I think everybody’s just waiting to see how this one does before talking to anyone about anything.

When we sold it originally, we conceptually sold it as a trilogy, with the second one being an alien invasion movie set in Brazil where Roberto is, where his dad is, who is part of the Hellfire Club. Then, the last one was hopefully going to dovetail with the X-Men movies and we were going to do Inferno, that crossover, which had all these supernatural, satanic horror elements and all that.

The idea was to try to do a different kind of genre, subgenre, of horror movie with each of these movies. That was the idea, but it wasn't something we thought much about because of the merger and everything else.

ROHAN: You’ve said the second film in your trilogy would’ve featured Warlock and Karma while a third would’ve adapted Inferno. Does this mean we would have seen Illyana turn into the Darkchilde? Had you discussed this with Anya?

JOSH: We told her that in the third movie, there would be two of her. That's basically what we told her, that there would be two versions of her and that she'd have to play two sides of herself. We were hyped on it!

ROHAN: There were plenty of rumors, and I know we're guilty of covering some, but how close were you to including characters Professor X and Mister Sinister, or Kitty Pryde and Colossus? 

JOSH: *laughs* We never had any reshoots.

At the beginning of the process, when we wrote the first few drafts, we were really going to be set in the Apocalypse X-Men era, so we started writing as if Apocalypse had happened right before our movie happened. So, we always had Professor X in a very limited capacity to sort of get you into the movie and get you out of the movie and we had Storm there as the sort of Alice Braga character. She was basically who Cecilia Reyes became later.

Then, Apocalypse opened to… not great reviews and the studio wanted to basically disentangle us from that franchise and asked that no more X-Men movies be set in the past. I was like “yo, that’s not why Apocalypse was bad.” *laughs* I mean, Days of Future Past was set in the ‘60s and it was fantastic, it was so great.

They removed us from that, but it was also the biggest favor they could have done because we still are peripherally X-Men, we have X-Men things in our movie so you know that you’re in that universe, but we didn’t have to be attached to their timeline or everything that was going on in there.

So, all of the things that you read about are things that sort of happened during the development process of the story. Like Warlock being in it, but when he was removed, it sort of became the movie it became.

ROHAN: Were there any changes once the film was back in your hands?

JOSH: We just tried to make sure that all the things that sort of connected it events in the other X-Men movies were out, things that would make it seem like there would be another X-Men movie after this. It was more cleaning up the mess of the merger and the impact it had on us. I mean it had a similar impact on Dark Phoenix because that was literally supposed to be two movies, the reshoots on that, I’m sure were to make it one.

So, we had to deal with things like that on a much more limited level where it was just trimming out a few little things here and there. It’s still the movie that we shot and I was able to finish it and get the sound design and all of the visual effects done.

ROHAN: The new trailers look really, really good - the Demon Bear looks awesome.

JOSH: Yeah, In the original trailers, the reason you never saw any of that stuff was cause none of the visual effects were finished. We only got to work on the visual effects this past year, they were working on them when I was shooting The Stand and when I came off directing my two episodes, I joined them and worked on getting all of that stuff done.

ROHAN: Since you did have to cut things, is there anything we can look forward to when the film hits Blu-ray?

JOSH: Yeah, yeah, for sure. Instead of the typical scene-specific audio commentary, I did sort of a career retrospective interview with Bill Sienkiewicz to talk about his time working for Marvel and DC and all the other work he’s done over the years.

We also have a cool selection of deleted scenes that were either too funny or not tonally right for the cut, which I’ve left as fun things for fans to look at that are more wink-y, gag stuff. There’s also some other behind-the-scenes stuff, it was really fun to sit down with Bill and learn about his life and his work.

ROHAN: One of the things that really stood out to me during the press conference was your enthusiasm for Marvel comics and the X-Men, especially. I know this film has really been put through the ringer with delays, rumors, mergers and whatnot, and considering the status of the industry, outside of The New Mutants, is there anything you’d like to adapt if Marvel Studios were to ask?

JOSH: Like I said, the thing we’d want to do most is easily a sequel to this one. It would be set in Brazil, Warlock’s in it, we’d introduce Karma, who’s a character we’d really like to see, who is able to take possession of other people’s bodies, which could run sexual havoc on some of our characters. *laughs*

ROHAN: So, how are you feeling with the movie finally coming out? It was all ready to go in April and then the world got turned upside down.

JOSH: Yeah, man, we were about to get on a plane to New York and then they were like “don’t get on a plane!” Then, like everyone else, we had no idea what was going to happen, so really glad fans will finally get a chance to see it.

20th Century Fox in association with Marvel Entertainment presents “The New Mutants,” an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring. When strange occurrences begin to take place, both their new mutant abilities and their friendships will be tested as they battle to try and make it out alive.

The New Mutants features:
Director: Josh Boone
Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane
Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin/Magik
Charlie Heaton as Sam Guthrie/Cannonball
Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage
Henry Zaga as Roberto da Costa/Sunspot
Alice Braga as Cecilia Reyes

The New Mutants hits theaters TODAY!

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