With “The Avengers” tracking to open to massive numbers next weekend, “The Dark Knight Rises” slated to be one of the biggest movie events of the summer and “The Amazing Spider-Man” set to reboot the hero for a new generation, Fox is pretty much the lone studio without a big comic movie this year (though they were behind the sleeper hit “Chronicle” just a couple of months ago). But it won’t be long before they’re back at the multiplex. “The Wolverine” starts shooting later this year, and early 2013 will see the studio put the “X-Men: First Class” sequel into motion. But that’s not all. Speaking with Collider at CinemaCon, studio honco Tom Rothman teased that the New Mutants could be next in line for the big screen.
Asked directly by the site if any announcements were pending or if they were talking to filmmakers, Rothman could only smile and say that this summer the studio would be dropping some news. “Let me just say this. All I have to say is, I agree with you in your assessment of the potential in a lot of these characters,” he carefully stated. But the general impression was that something is indeed cooking.
So, if it is the New Mutants that will be getting a movie, it will be something of a challenge to make it work. The biggest issue with the the New Mutants is how to differ the story greatly from the X-Men universe on screen. In the comic books, the New Mutants were meant to be the teen-angsty version of the X-Men, as those characters moved into the maturity of their 30s and were presumably created to connect with an adolescent audience that had the same coming-of-age issues.
However, in the comic movies films we’ve seen so far — from ‘X-Men’ through the “Spider-Man” films to even “Chronicle” — that experience has been well-told. In Bryan Singer‘s “X-Men,” characters like Rogue, Ice-Man and Pyro, were all aged down into teenagers and there were always adult characters mentoring them. To grow up with the uncertainty and fear of mutant powers on top of the already difficult periods of teenagedom is rich dramatic territory, but even “X-Men: First Class” demonstrated this same dynamic; unsure teens with powers they don’t know what to do with until discovered and mentored by Xavier and Magneto. And indeed many of the characters/powers are extraordinarily similar to X-Men: Karma who can mentally posess other people; Cannonball who can rocket through the air; Wolfsbane who, as you might guess, turns into a wolf; Psyche, who can conjur illusions; and Sunspot who can harness incredible energy (and yes, there are many more characters but these kicked it off).
The New Mutants also have the connection to the underground world of the Morlocks, a subsection of disenfranchised mutants with physical mutations so great and conspicuous they are unable to blend into society like many humanoid-looking mutants can. So the Morlocks take to living underground in the sewers and subways and while this is an X-Men experience we haven’t seen thus far on screen (although Morlock characters have been seen here and there in the series, but never to any great effect), it still remains to be seen how a New Mutants film would greatly differ from the ‘X-Men’ movies.
Either way, keep an eye out. If Rothman says announcements are due this summer, it stands to reason that news will be revealed at Comic-Con where most geek-friendly missives are made. Keep in mind however, nothing is certain, and for all we know Fox could just be dropping the release date for the “X-Men: First Class” sequel — ComicCon previews tend to get overhyped and then rarely deliver anything shocking or unexpected. But regardless, it sounds like some property under the roof of 20th Century Fox will be revealed in a few short months.