"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world." - Jean-Luc Godard
'The New Mutants' - a Brief History of the release timeline
After a tumultuous 2 ½ years the former 20th Century Fox and now Disney film The New Mutants is set to be released in theaters this weekend. It’s been a long journey up to this point, and has been very interesting and at times exasperating to follow. Few films in recent memory have had its release date pushed back as many times as New Mutants. I’ve been following this film over the past several years and have seen just how much it has gone through to finally get to this point so I wanted to create a brief timeline of its release history.
Our journey begins back in 2017, when on September 16th the studio wraps filming on the movie. Jump forward to October 13th and we get our first glimpse at the film in the form of a teaser trailer. It’s light on special effects, but gives us a taste of what to expect from the superhero horror movie, as well as an established release date of April 13th 2018. Our curiosity has been piqued, and we have the date circled on our calendar when the bad news starts: on January 11th 2018, in an attempt to avoid the release of Deadpool 2, the studio moves New Mutants to February 2019. It’s a disappointing move for comic book fans, but one year isn’t that long of a wait, is it? Maybe not, but two months later on March 26th, the film gets pushed back yet again to August 2nd 2019 in an attempt to steer clear of X-Men: Dark Phoenix. It’s a crushing blow to hopefuls and the jokes begin; New Mutants becomes little more than a punchline on Twitter, and some fans begin to wonder if we’ll ever get to see the film. Not long after, the studio announces reshoots for the film, presumably to add a new character and to make the film scarier. We begin to wonder if the film will get pushed back again, what with Disney’s impending purchase of Fox looming on the horizon. Disney doesn’t care too much for scary films, and if Mutants were to receive an R rating there’s no telling what the fallout could be. Finally, on March 20th 2019, Disney takes over the Fox mantle and the futures of all Fox projects hang in the balance. Two months later Disney announces a new release slate for all of the acquired Fox projects and New Mutants gets bumped back yet again to April 3rd 2020, almost two years after its first release date. January 2020 rolls around and it looks like the film could finally see the light of day. An official trailer is put out and a cast screening is conducted. We’re waiting with bated breath. Director Josh Boone says in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the speculated reshoots never actually occurred: “Everybody said we did reshoots! We’ve never done reshoots.” Things are looking up. Then the coronavirus hits. Theaters across the country close and every Disney film release gets suspended indefinitely. A Disney+ release seems inevitable at this point, with Disney dropping its own $125 million Artemis Fowl on the streaming service rather than wait for a theatrical release, it looks like Disney would rather just get New Mutants out of the way. Then a miracle occurs: on May 13th Disney announces a new release date for The New Mutants: August 28th 2020. Over 3 years since filming wrapped, and 2 ½ years since the original release date the film finally looks ready to debut. Barring a last minute catastrophe, we can finally put an end to this long and difficult timeline and hopefully see this film in all its glory (social distancing in a movie theater while wearing a mask).