Uncle Willy proceeds to stay in denial for the rest of the day.
No. Oh God, no. What…what WAS that?
Fox released the first trailer for its upcoming movie, The New Mutants. It’s the movie adaptation of Marvel Comics’ teenage X-Men wannabe team that started in 1982. The original five-teen team appears in this movie but altered slightly. In place of Xian Coy Manh, aka Karma, Anya Taylor-Joy sports blonde locks and assumes the role of Ilyana Rasputina, aka Magik. Game of Thrones vet Maisie Williams is cast as Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane. The hot-headed Roberto Da Costa, aka Sunspot, is handled by Brazilian actor Henry Zaga. Sam Guthrie/Cannonball is played by Stranger Things alum Charlie Heaton. Rounding out the quintet is Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage.
So far, so good. Unfortunately, that was about the only good I saw in the whole trailer.
What in the name of all that is indecent and hellish did I watch???
Fox has been having some success tinkering with their licensed Marvel projects. Sure, Fant4stic was a steaming pile of orca excrement, and the less said about X-Men: Apocalypse the better. But Deadpool and Logan were recent home runs. Both movies were a bit of a gender-bend from typical hero fare. Logan played with the concept of a Western-style hero movie; Deadpool went with the slapstick and referential humor. Oh, and both were rated a hard R.
The New Mutants, a film aiming for PG-13 rating, seems to be gender-bending heroes and horror. The result is…well, the result looks a lot like Annabelle: Mutants in that it’s trying to ape the beats of a low-budget horror film while featuring high-powered mutants. Yea, I’m not a fan.
I’ll just say it. It looks like a fucking mess.
I loved the first volume of The New Mutants back when I collected comic books. A cinematic adaptation of the source material was bound to be dark; the source material itself is dark. Magik summons portals to Limbo, which is a pretty nasty place. Although she is not present, Karma can mentally possess other bodies. I mean, there’s a lot of fodder to make something based on the occult or psychological horror. But this? Outlast the movie, only with more superpowers?
Fine. It’s the first trailer, and maybe the way it’s been cut skews it some. But I literally don’t get what I’m supposed to take from this trailer. Lots of things confused me. Are they in a sanitarium for mutants? Are they just test subjects? Were those gravestones totaling the mutants that have died from the experiments here? Why was someone in the dryer? And why did that person have fire-based powers when none of the original five possess that power? Is that Magma, who so far is uncredited?
Okay okay, I’m probably thinking about this too much. Maybe the tone of this trailer threw me off, and maybe I just need to give it a chance. But these trailers are cut and released so we can get excited or, at the very least, interested in the movie it’s hyping up. So far, the trailer for The New Mutants is dousing water on my expectations. Since the movie isn’t set for release until April 13th, there’s still plenty of time to get a better grasp of what this movie wants to be.
For right now, all I see is Fant4stic with mutants.
UPDATE: After 12 hours of stewing and rewatching the trailer, I’m a little calmer. I still may not be all excited about the movie’s direction, but I’m more receptive to the idea now.
As I mentioned before, the source material lends itself to a horror movie. Seriously, all the hellish shit Magik sees and goes through is enough fodder for a horror trilogy. And let’s not forget that later incarnations of the New Mutants include Legion – who already has his own batshit-crazy TV show.
Speaking of Magik, I neglected to mention that she’s the sister of Peter Rasputin, aka Colossus. Apparently, this movie is in the Deadpool universe. Will the Metal Boy Scout make an appearance? I sure wouldn’t discount it. For that matter, will Professor X show up? The X-Men universe is supposed to be tied in as well, at least if we believe Deadpool’s fourth-wall-breaking mention of it. If so, we could have a reunion of sorts. Anya Taylor-Joy and James McAvoy – this universe’s Professor X – worked together in Split. Not important, but I thought I’d mention it.
But yeah, some of the cues in the New Mutants trailer bug me. Dr. Cecelia Reyes, a later X-Men member, is also in the trailer. But whereas in the comics she’s a reluctant member of the Children of the Atom, here she’s the head doctor of the sanitarium. Why? The corny horror elements, like Magik screaming in terror after she sees some dude in a smiley-face mask, make zero sense. Even if Magik were still unfamiliar with her powers, why would some dude in a mask scare her? She’s HAD to have seen crazier shit than that by now! And most importantly, WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THE CREEPY KIDS’ CHOIR SINGING PINK FLOYD’S THE WALL???
Yea, I still have a lot of angst. I sorta get it, but I still have dozens of questions.