While we’re waiting for X-Men: Apocalypse to arrive next summer (it’s in production now), it looks like 20th Century Fox is eager to expand the world of mutants on the big screen with an X-Men spin-off.
Deadline reports that Fox has just closed a deal for a standalone spin-off franchise based on The New Mutants comic book series, which follows a mostly different group of mutant characters that we haven’t yet seen on the big screen. In addition, they’re looking to The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone (below) to co-write and direct the new mutant endeavor with Knate Gwaltney, associate producer of the later chapters in the Jackass film franchise, including Bad Grandpa.
If that assemblage of talent on the page and behind the camera has you concerned, maybe you can take solace in knowing that X-Men franchise producers Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner will be producing this expansion of the X-Men universe as well.
If you don’t know anything about The New Mutants, the comic book was launched in the 80s when the Uncanny X-Men was one of the most popular comic books at the time, prompting Marvel to expand the universe in which the characters existed and capitalize on all the love for mutants running rampant across the comic book industry.
The launch of the new franchise is good news for those looking for some more diversity in their superhero characters. The New Mutants is known for having quite an eclectic assembly of characters from different countries and ethnic backgrounds, something that Marvel Studios seems to have struggled with by having quite a lot of white, male heroes without much room for diversity.
The first team included Cannonball, a Kentucky boy made nearly invulnerable as he rockets through the air; Karma, a Vietnamese girl who used mental powers to inhabit other people’s bodies; Mirage, a Native American girl who can create extremely convincing three-dimensional illusions; Sunspot, a Brazilian man who can store solar energy and use it to blast enemies; and Wolfsbane, a Scottish man who transforms into a wolf-like creature.
Out of those, Sunspot is the only one we’ve seen on the big screen with a small role in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Other mutants who have been on the team in the comics include Cypher, Magik, Magma, Warlock, Skids, Shatterstar, Rictor and Warpath (another mutant who had a small role in Days of Future Past), and Deadpool made his first appearance in the pages of New Mutants. There are plenty more mutants left for Fox to use to get their money’s worth out of their only Marvel property, mostly so they don’t have to give the rights back to Marvel Studios.
Clearly Fox knows that their core X-Men team isn’t going to last forever, so expanding the world of mutants makes the most sense. There have been rumblings that X-Men: Apocalypse and The Wolverine 3 will be the films that end the original X-Men franchise legacy, moving on to follow only the new cast members in the timeline that began in X-Men: First Class, which was followed upon last year with Days of Future Past, and which will continue in X-Men: Apocalypse.
You may remember that Boone is also supposed to direct a massive adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, but that apparently won’t happen until after The New Mutants. And even so, the X-Men spin-off is still a couple years away because Boone will next direct a new adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. The director is certainly looking to expand his horizons outside of teen romance, so that’s pretty exciting. We’ll have to wait and see how he fares in the world of genre films.
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