Way back in March 2016, a report surfaced that The New Mutants director Josh Boone was eyeing both Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy to play Rahne Sinclair, a.k.a. Wolfsbane and Ilya Rasputin, a.k.a. Magik, respectively, with Alexandra Shipp also said to reprise her role as Storm from X-Men: Apocalypse. That report was never confirmed, until today, with both Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy officially signing on as these characters, becoming the first official cast members. There is no word yet on whether or not Alexandra Shipp will in fact return for The New Mutants.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today, revealing that writer-director Josh Boone had been eyeing both actresses for the Wolfsbane and Magik roles since last year, but he couldn't "pull the trigger" on their casting until the movie was officially green lit earlier this year. This news comes just weeks after 20th Century Fox handed out a New Mutants release date of April 13, 2018, with production now scheduled to begin this July. In the Marvel comics, Wolfsbane was a shape-shifter who could turn into a werewolf, who made her debut in Marvel Graphic Novel #4 in November 1982. Illyana debuted in Giant-Size X-Men #1 in May 1975, but she didn't transform into Magik until New Mutants #14 in 1984.
This report also confirms that Wolfsbane and Magik will be part of a diverse group of teenage characters from the Marvel Comics, following their "angst-driven adventures." Other members of the New Mutants include Native American Danielle Moonstar, the Brazilian character Sunspot, a Kentucky native named Cannonball and an alien known as Warlock. All of these mutant characters were first teased as part of The New Mutants from Josh Boone himself, who posted images of these characters on social media last May.
Aside from Alexandra Shipp, there has also been talk that X-Men: Apocalypse stars Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) were eyed to return, along with Deadpool star Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead). With the confirmation of Magik, who is also the sister to the mutant Colossus, who was featured in the R-rated hit Deadpool, it's possible that character may be eyed for an appearance as well. None of those characters have been confirmed at this time, but with production starting in July, hopefully we'll get a full character list very soon.
We reported in August that The Fault in Our Stars writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber had reunited with director Josh Boone, coming aboard to write the script for The New Mutants, which made sense since producer Simon Kinberg had previously stated that this movie had a "YA vibe" to it. However, this new report doesn't mention Neustadter and Weber, revealing that the script was written by Josh Boone and his writing partner Knate Gwaltney, with Simon Kinberg and Karen Rosenfelt producing. Anya Taylor-Joy is coming off the low-budget smash hit Split, and she has also been confirmed to return for the follow-up Glass. Maisie Williams recently starred in the Netflix movie iBoy, and she returns as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones Season 7, debuting July 16.