Through it's long and troubled production, The New Mutants has gone from being an off-shoot of the live-action X-Men movies to becoming its own separate franchise. As director of the movie Josh Boone recently revealed to Slash Film, The New Mutants was originally intended to be much more closely aligned to the X-Men timeline, featuring Storm in a central role.
"We were lucky. They really did want it to be different than other stuff. They really pushed us to keep it separate from X-Men stuff, even though it's set in the X-Men universe. We had early drafts that were supposed to be in the same timeline as [X-Men:] Apocalypse, so it was originally going to be set in the '80s. Originally, Professor X and Storm were in it, and Storm very much played the Alice Braga role."
The role intended for Storm will be played by Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga), who acts as a caretaker for the group of young mutants stuck in a government facility where they discover a sinister conspiracy afoot. Photos leaked from the film have revealed that Reyes, Braga's character, has superpowers of her own, in the form of telekinetic shields. Once the movie is released, it will be interesting to consider how the character's place in the story would have changed if she had been replaced by Storm. Boone went on to explain the strange reason why studio heads ordered a rewrite of the original script.
"Over the course of months, a new studio head came in, they said they didn't want any X-Men movies to take place in the past anymore, as if that was the reason that X-Men: Apocalypse was bad. So we were put in the position where we kind of rewrote it to be set now in a nebulous [point in time], because nobody knew how the movies had turned out. Dark Phoenix wasn't out yet. Yeah, it's there - they talk about Professor X and those things, but it doesn't have cameos from anyone or anything like that."
And so The New Mutants went from being the final offering from the live-action X-Men series to doing its own thing, which might end up being a change for the better. Boone has repeatedly stressed that his movie is very different in tone than other X-Men films, being a straight-up horror-thriller instead of action-adventure. Perhaps being free of the baggage that comes with the X-Men franchise will allow The New Mutants to stand on its own.
Directed and co-written by Josh Boone, The New Mutants stars Game of Thrones alum Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, with Split actress Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin/Magik, Charlie Heaton as Sam Guthrie/Cannonball, Henry Zaga as Roberto da Costa/Sunspot, Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage and Alice Braga as Dr. Cecilia Reyes. The producers are still hoping for an August 28 theatrical release, although Boone has stated that he would be willing to settle for a VOD release if it means audiences will finally get to watch the film. This news was first reported at /film.