THE NEW MUTANTS: Fox Considered Reshooting The Entire Movie; Shocking New Details On BTS Chaos Emerge

Some shocking new details have emerged about the production of The New Mutants, including a huge number of uncredited rewrites, Storm's bizarre original role, and plans to reshoot the entire movie...

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Vulture has done some digging into The New Mutants - talking to several people close to the production - and come back with some real bombshells about what happened behind the scenes. As we recently learned, the original plan was for the movie to be set in the 1980s so that it would tie into X-Men: Apocalypse and the main franchise's timeline. However, after that underwhelmed both critically and financially, Fox changed tact, and director Josh Boone and co-writer Knate Lee's plan to deliver a "hybrid-horror Breakfast Club movie" were thrown out by the studio. 

That did not sit well with either of them, and once shooting was finally finished, it's said that "Fox was so displeased with the initial cut the studio discussed throwing the entire movie out to 'start over' with a total reshoot." That likely explains the reports that surfaced when the movie was first delayed by Fox, but there's a lot more to the story than that. 

Apparently, Boone and Lee's initial 2015 screenplay didn't really deliver what they'd initially pitched, with crude humour, in particular, needing to be toned down. As well as The Breakfast ClubThe Legend of Billie Jean served as part of the filmmaker's inspiration, but as one source puts it, "Punk-rock-y, rebellious teens are already baked into the X-Men, but here, one of the characters was a misogynist and graffiti-ing his penis on stuff. There were head scratchers."

It's no secret that Storm was in an earlier version of The New Mutants (the director has talked about that on a number of occasions), but here, Boone portrayed her as the "sadistic jailer" of the leads, a depiction which confused those at the studio. "It felt like the kids were being tortured," one source explains. "If the X-Men are holding [the young mutants] there, it can’t feel different from the mental furniture that audiences bring into the theater knowing that the X-Men are good guys. Storm like that made no sense." At this point, a number of writers were brought in to take a crack at the screenplay, including The Fault in Our Stars scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, but Boone kept butting heads with producer (and Dark Phoenix director) Simon Kinberg. 

New versions of the scripts kept coming in, with Chad Hayes and Carey W. Hayes (The Conjuring), Joshua Zetumer (RoboCop), and Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) all making attempts to punch up the horror after studio boss Stacey Snider decided it should be a straight horror movie, and not the teen drama/horror hybrid Fox originally greenlit. Boone would then do his own revisions, often removing the changes that had been made. Things came to a head before cameras rolled in 2017, with a roundtable assembled made up of some of those uncredited writers and Logan scribe Scott Frank. They "delivered a roundelay of critiques, pointing out lapses in logic, deficits of humor, and underdeveloped characters." Still, Boone pushed back. 

Shooting obviously did end up happening, and that takes us back to Fox's unhappiness with what was delivered to them. A high ranking Fox executive tells the site, "You could throw the movie out, start over, and it would still be the least expensive X-Men movie so far." That's something they seriously considered, and it wouldn't be overly surprising if Kinberg was hoping to take charge of the project as he did Fantastic Four...with even more disastrous results. 

Ultimately, it seems a clash in visions was the problem here, and which party was to blame will likely remain a talking point for years to come (five years on and Josh Trank's Marvel movie is still widely discussed and debated). Now, The New Mutants is opening in the midst of a pandemic and, much to the relief of most fans, the rights to the X-Men are back with Marvel Studios. For those willing to risk a trip to the theater, they'll get to see the version of the movie Fox wanted to throw out before the Disney/Fox merger halted those plans. If that truly is Boone's vision, though, at least he's been able to share it...

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