Fox’s New Mutants escapes purgatory with trailer teasing a dark take on X-Men

20th Century Fox’s X-Men spinoff The New Mutants has existed in film purgatory for what feels like eons, caught in production both before and after Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Now, seemingly out of nowhere, Disney released a new trailer on January 6.

Described as “an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring,” The New Mutants seems poised to take a decidedly more dark perspective on the mutant world. The trailer certainly bears that suspicion out.

Director Josh Boone has taken the superhero savior motif and tilted it on its head, making The New Mutants look very much like a horror movie. Opening with a shot of mutant Dani (Blu Hunt) waking up to an inexplicable rainfall of blood, the trailer immediately suggests there is a dark, dangerous presence that will pervade the film.

As the trailer progresses, we meet Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga), who is “treating” these young New Mutants as both individuals and in group therapy. While some of the teenagers are reluctant to explain how their powers have complicated their lives, others are all too eager to share precisely what their powers can do to themselves and others.

We also get a peek at the facility itself, which looks markedly (and possibly intentionally) similar to the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, the headquarters of the original X-Men. However, it’s made abundantly clear that the young mutants in this story are not at this facility to receive a positive, enriching education. In fact, they’re trapped by an invisible force field around the grounds.

The New Mutants, it seems, will have to learn to hone and control their powers against a terrifying presence (or more than one while imprisoned in what to the outside world may look like an asylum. That’s textbook horror fare and a far cry from past X-Men films.

After years of reshoots and delays, along with fears that Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige would shelve the movie after Disney’s acquisition of Fox, the trailer ultimately proves that Disney is finally poised to give the film a major theatrical release.

With an intriguing young cast that also includes Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, and Henry Zaga, The New Mutants is one of the more intriguing projects to emerge from the Disney/Fox acquisition. Now, close to five years after the deal to make the movie was signed, it’s finally slated to release on April, 2020. Assuming nothing changes.

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