Poor, poor New Mutants. They’re the red-headed stepchildren of the MCU. Father Fox is dead and Mother Marvel keeps them in the basement while doling out all the attention on her other children. This sense of being misplaced was not lost on The New Mutants cast and director as they descended upon Comic-Con@Home to basically say “Yes, we do still exist” and “Yes, we still will be released in theaters. Maybe.”
That uncertainty is palatable as the panel opened with a cheeky video clip documenting just how many times plans have changed and the release date has been moved. This movie was supposed to come out originally in APRIL 2018! We should call them the Senior Citizen Mutants at this point. It’s currently scheduled to be released theatrically on August 28th, though I wouldn’t hold my breath…
Joking aside, the panel itself started off a bit rocky as everyone started basically saying hello and talking over one another once the whole group had been introduced. Moderator Ira Madison III introduced new emojis for each character on the panel which was a clever/creative hook, and the cast’s genuine joy at seeing both those and original fan art that was shared were probably the panel highlights.
Fans of the source material certainly would have gotten more out of writer/director Josh Boone discussing how the film is so heavily influenced by the Demon Bear Saga from the comics. The problem is they never elaborate on what that actually means for people who haven’t read it, making a large chunk of the panel a lot less engaging than what it should have been. We don’t need plot spoilers, but context matters.
Maisie Williams and Blu Hunt talked about the romance they have in the film that seems integral to the plot and character development, with Hunt telling an amusing story of how she had to go to the studio solely to kiss Williams as part of her audition and how nervous she’d been about it.
The panel ended with a surprise showing of the film’s opening. Great idea, but the results were…mixed. I’ve always felt the New Mutants movie was a great concept buried under a PG-13 rating and music-video style of hyper-editing, and nothing in the opening changed my opinion. It looked pretty, but was nonsensical. While that was partially by design to clearly try to build intrigue, I was less intrigued and more annoyed how we just jumped right into a super effects and CGI heavy chase/action scene with absolutely no context as to what was happening or why we should care, I hope The New Mutants gets its time in the sun, and I hope the extra time away has helped craft a better film. Right now, I’m not holding my breath. 2.5/5 Bibles.