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20th Century Fox Canada

After years of production delays, the teen mutant horror fest is finally alive and screaming.

For years, thanks to numerous delays and the added complication of Disney’s 20th Century Fox buyout, fans weren’t sure the highly anticipated X-Men spinoff New Mutants would ever see the light of day. But it’s here at last, and there’s a new, full movie trailer to prove it, as well as a release date: April 2, 2020.

The film focuses on a group of teenage mutants, including Game of ThronesMaisie Williams as wolf shapeshifter Rahne and indie-film wunderkind Anya Taylor-Joy as Magik, who does, well, magic. They’ve all been trapped in a gothic hospital, where nothing is as it seems — and increasingly, the teens’ powers, as well as their own fears, seem to be turning against them.

Judging from the new trailer, writer-director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) has infused the film with lots of horror, which makes it feel much more akin to Stranger Things than it is the X-Men films. (It doesn’t help that Stranger ThingsCharlie Heaton, a.k.a. Jonathan Byers, is one of the mutants.)

Still, there are some clues — starting with the hospital itself — that this is the same X-Men universe with which we’re familiar. In its isolation and grim ambiance, the hospital bears a striking thematic resemblance to the facility that astute fans might recognize from Deadpool. Unfortunately, that means the teens are most likely caught in Weapon X, the same torturous secret medical program that was frequently used to trap, create, manipulate, and torture mutants like Deadpool and Wolverine.

Hopefully, the gang will unite and escape before it’s too late, much as New Mutants itself seems to have miraculously escaped from cinematic limbo. As The Verge notes, the film has been on-again, off-again since it was first announced nearly five years ago, in 2015. After numerous production delays and Disney’s 2017 acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the film’s release date kept getting pushed back, and rumors surfaced that Disney disliked the finished product. The new trailer follows a teaser trailer — but it’s okay if you’ve forgotten it ever existed, since it was released all the way back in 2017.

With this teaser serving as the only glimpse of the film, many fans assumed New Mutants had been permanently shelved.

But the new trailer looks like highly entertaining, if predictable, fun. Who knows? Perhaps fans who’d given up on the film are in for a pleasant surprise. And with that Marvel Entertainment logo now stuck to the poster — making it the first Marvel film of the year, technically speaking — New Mutants could even get a bit more play than it would have had as the X-Men franchise’s mysterious step-sibling.

Author: Aja Romano

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