After a 3-year journey to make it to the big screen, "New Mutants" finally drops next week -- just as theaters begin to reopen amid the pandemic.
It's been quite the adventure getting Marvel's "New Mutants" to the screen, after three years of delays thanks to studio mergers, the start of COVID-19 pandemic and a market filled with comic book adaptations.
The movie had four different release dates, going back as far as April 2018, before finally settling on its fifth, August 28, 2020 -- a date the studio is sticking to despite movie theaters being either closed or operating at limited capacity. Director Josh Boone, however, is just happy his movie is seeing the light of day.
"I'm really excited that people get to finally see it, truly," he told TooFab. "I get a happy ending at the end of this in terms of getting out the movie we wanted to get out."
When asked about the timing of its release, as theaters in Los Angeles and New York City remain closed and others slowly begin to reopen, Boone explained he believes "it's essential to go to the movies."
"I know 80% of theaters are going to be open to meet us. I know when I see pictures online of 400 people at a house party without masks, I know that they are good to go put a mask on and go to a movie," he added with a laugh. "I sort of feel like it's definitely safer than sitting inside a restaurant and eating and/or going to get on an airplane."
Cinemark began opening some of its locations last week, more than 100 AMC theaters opened back up on Thursday and chains including Alamo Drafthouse and Regal Cinemas will start up screenings again later this week. Those chains all require face masks for both staff and patrons.
"I do think it's essential to go to the movies, I think like when you're lonely it's a good place to go," he continued. "It's a way, just in general, to be connected to more people just by watching movies. This one was always intended to be seen on the big screen, it's got a giant bear in it. We always hoped for IMAX screenings and things like that for audiences to get to see it."
Walt Disney Studios
In the horror-flavored "New Mutants," a group of super-powered teens find themselves in a psych ward for observation -- banding together after a series of strange occurrences begin around the facility. During the film's production, there were reports the movie would have reshoots to "make it scarier," but Boone explains that never happened.
After the merger between Disney and 20th Century Fox and the former acquired the latter's film slate, Boone said they entered what he calls "The Dark Times."
"Nobody knew what was gonna happen, there were no updates. We never were asked to do any reshoots or any pickups or anything like that, which most movies go do," he explained. "They really did everything they could to fix and finish 'Dark Phoenix,' that was originally supposed to be a 2-parter and ours had a couple little strands to future stuff in the X-Men universe. So it was really clean-up of that stuff that needed to happen for this all to come out and be released."
Originally, Boone had planned a post-credits scene for "New Mutants" that would introduce Antonio Banderas as Emmanuel da Costa -- Sunspot's father and member of the Hellfire Club -- and set up another movie.
"We didn't end up doing that. We never got to go back and do anything," said the director. "I really just finished the movie I made originally and we got maybe 70% of the way there, the merger happened and I went in and worked on 'The Stand' stuff, came back and finished this."
Walt Disney Studios
Despite the darker tone compared to other X-Men films, Boone said the movie was "always intended" to have a PG-13 rating, because he wanted to be sure the "teenagers who it was written for and is starring" would be able to see it.
He describes the finished product as a "throwback to John Hughes movies, with a Stephen King vibe," saying it's "like 'Breakfast Club' meets 'Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors' ... with a little Buffy and a love story." After highlighting the character-driven story, he also promised the movie will appease Marvel fans -- with a "big, climactic battle and cool visual effects."