New Mutants director Josh Boone has revealed that the disappointment of X-Men: Apocalypse led to Professor X and Storm being axed from his movie.
Boone told Slash Film the studio “pushed to keep [New Mutants] separate from X-Men stuff” in the wake of the release of Apocalypse in 2016.
That film earned significantly less than its predecessor Days of Future Past and was greeted by mixed to negative reviews.
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Boone said this influenced the thinking behind New Mutants — and the inclusion of past characters — on behalf of 20th Century Fox.
He said: “We had early drafts that were supposed to be in the same timeline as Apocalypse, so it was originally going to be set in the 80s.
“Professor X and Storm were in it, and Storm very much played the Alice Braga role.
"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 Apocalypse was bad."
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Boone explained that the movie is now set at a “nebulous” point in time as a result of uncertainty as to how the rest of the franchise would play out, particularly as the Disney-Fox takeover moved closer.
Since, The New Mutants has been plagued by delays, with its release date shunted numerous times and its fate still unclear given the coronavirus pandemic.
As it stands, Disney has New Mutants on the slate for a 28 August cinema release, but multiplexes in various countries — including the USA — remain closed.
Boone said this week that he is not worried about the format in which the movie is released, as long as people finally get the chance to see it.
“I don’t really get scared about stuff like that,” he said.
“I just want as many people to see it as possible. And for everybody who wants to see it to be able to see it.”
The August date is the fifth confirmed release for The New Mutants — and it might not be the last.