The upcoming release of The New Mutants has been, in many ways, overshadowed by its tortured road to release. The X-Men horror film directed by Josh Boone was supposed to open in early 2018, but rumored reshoots and then the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney derailed that in a major way. Now, the film is finally on the cusp of release, and even after a delay of several years, Boone confirmed to us in a recent interview that the version we will get to see is that one he originally set out to make, with no major changes. And no, they never got around to those reshoots.
In our phone conversation, Boone seemed oddly at peace with the entire New Mutants release situation. While he’s undeniably frustrated, he also feels that the film’s tone is unique enough to allow it to stand out and credits Disney for letting him complete the film as he originally envisioned it:
People ask me, “Are you mad it hasn’t come out yet?” and it’s like, nobody’s done what we did yet, so I still think it’s a new thing whenever it opens. That’s the positive way I’ve tried to look at it. We worked so hard on the movie, but we really got trapped in a limbo where the merger happened and they put all their manpower and money into finishing Dark Phoenix, which was supposed to really open after ours. We did sort of get left by the wayside until Disney came in and let me finish the movie. I’m very proud of how it turned out in terms of, it’s my director’s cut and I got to do all the finishing I needed to do. But you know, it should have opened quite a few years ago and all that. So that part is a bit frustrating, but it all worked out ultimately. The movie people will get to see is the movie we want them to see.
Boone is frank about the entire experience, noting that anytime you work with a major studio you’ll have to roll with certain punches. While certainly not bitter about it (his tone throughout our entire interview is one of casual frankness), he does acknowledge the downside to making any kind of major blockbuster:
This is what happens anytime you engage with a corporate entity to try to bring something to the screen that they own. It’s just a fact. Like, the next thing Knate and I are doing, is I’m going to direct and we adapted Bob Mehr’s best-seller Troubled Boys, about the band The Replacements, and we’ve been able to do it without any corporate involvement. It’s a much better process that way, but to go make an X-Men movie, you’ve gotta go through that process. So just that process alone makes everything take long, even the development of it. And when you finally get to the place where you can make it, you’ve made a bunch of compromises in order to be able to make it – I mean budgetary compromises, not getting Warlock into the movie, things like that. It’s just an uphill battle the whole time when you make any sort of venture like that.
As for those reshoots everyone was talking about a few years ago? Well, they never happened. Boone says there were plans for additional photography (standard practice in studio filmmaking), but they never came to fruition following the Disney acquisition. Instead, the finished film is essentially the one they delivered so long ago, just with minor adjustments:
You read stuff online about how we did reshoots. We never got to reshoot anything. We never got to do even pickups, which normal films do. We were really completely shut down during the merger and that was it. It was probably 75 to 80 percent done, the visual effects hadn’t been finished. When I came back, I finished all the editing, finished the visual effects, and it was done. There was just a multi-year gap in between. If we were going to go reshoot stuff or do pickups, it would have been one thing. But to have still crafted all of it from the original footage and it’s still pretty much what we wanted to do originally, it was nice to be able to see it after not seeing it for a year. Because [co-writer Knate Lee] and I made a couple little tweaks as we watched it. But it’s still pretty much the exact movie that we set out to make and go shoot.
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