How do you set yourself apart in a world increasingly jam-packed with X-Men projects? Make something straight-up terrifying (and not in an Apocalypse-might-ruin-the-world sense).
“We are making a full-fledged horror movie set within the X-Men universe,” writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) tells Entertainment Weekly of the film starring Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane and Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, Barry) as Magik. Boone goes on:
“There are no costumes. There are no supervillains. We’re trying to do something very, very different. ... We love that Fox wants to make all these different X-Men spinoffs as drastically different as they can.”
Boone cites 1984's The New Mutants #18 as the inception of “a darker and more surreal and impressionistic X-Men series than we’d ever seen before. It felt like Stephen King meets John Hughes.” (Intriguingly, Boone has writer/director gigs on adaptations of The Stand and Lisey's Story, two of Stephen "Master of Horror" King's best non-horror tales.)
To land the New Mutants gig, Boone and co-writer/BFF-since-childhood Knate Lee made a comic book showcasing their vision. Their enthusiasm is total, evidenced by Boone's reasoning behind taking the gig:
"You can’t have a bigger nerd or fan making this. It’s so important to me. I’m not the 12-year-old who decided to write Stephen King a letter and loved Marvel Comics anymore, but I try to hold myself accountable to that kid. Because that kid is what keeps me from becoming a Hollywood whore [laughs]. I look back and think: Would he think this would be cool? Would he proud of me? Did I fulfill the dream we had when we were kids?”
The New Mutants is being targeted for a PG-13 release next spring. Also coming to the big screen are an X-Force film, the Channing Tatum–starring Gambit movie and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, a sequel to 2016's Apocalypse. We've also got The Gifted coming to Fox, and Legion just wrapped its first season on FX.
Watch the stars of Apocalypse reveal their favorite mutant powers: