A report about the messy production problems on 20th Century Studios’ “The New Mutants” has arrived at Vulture just a day before the film’s release in cinemas.
It has long been known that the film’s director Josh Boone, 20th Century Fox and Disney have all clashed over the movie, and that some of the actors like Anya Taylor-Joy had a difficult time speaking about their experience because of the studio politics.
From interference with Boone’s creative vision for the project to talk of extensive reshoots to add new characters and change the film’s tone dramatically, ultimately the film didn’t change and what we’re seeing is Boone’s original vision while it was a 20th Century Fox film left essentially intact.
The new piece indicates things are more complicated than expected. Boone pitched a “‘Breakfast Club’-style teen film crossed with low-budget, Blumhouse-esque horror” tale, a plan Fox was originally pleased with.
The problems began right from the get go and the script couldn’t be settled on with many different versions existing. Boone originally wanted to emphasize the John Hughes-ian aspects and set the film in the 1980s, Fox wanted to focus more on the horror.
Boone’s interpretation of the characters was also apparently not well received – from a misogynist teen who spray-painted penises on things for no reason, to X-Men’s Storm serving as the “sadistic jailer” of the kids along with a lot of crude and uninspired humor.
With the clear difference in creative directions, Fox brought in numerous scribes to attempt re-writes including Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes, Joshua Zetumer, Seth-Grahame Smith, and Scott Frank. No-one seemed to be able to crack it.
The film eventually went into production and while the shoot went off fine, when Fox saw a cut of the film they were so “displeased” there was discussion of throwing the whole project out and starting over. By then the Disney takeover deal was in full swing and so the movie became their problem.
Boone himself has been out tubthumping the film and talking with CBM he confirms part of the story – the setting, the numerous writers, Storm serving in the jailer capacity rather than Alice Braga’s Cecilia Reyes.
He also says some changes happened in the wake of the merger, namely Disney emphasised that any connections to events in the other X-Men films were essentially removed including: “things that would make it seem like there would be another X-Men movie after this.” If the film is a success, he tells Screen Rant he wants to do a MCU-set family targeted “Power Pack” film.
No-one is sure what to expect as yet – the movie isn’t being pre-screened for critics in the U.S. with many refusing to see it due to the unsafe nature of filmgoing at the moment. The movie opens in international markets next week.
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