The latest film spinning out of the “X-Men” franchise is embracing a decidedly darker tone, as evidenced by a trailer released early Friday.
“The New Mutants,” directed by Josh Boone, is set to hit theaters next April. The first trailer suggests few overt links to the larger X-Men cinematic universe, other than the existence of super-powered mutants and the Marvel logo.
Following last year’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Deadpool,” “The New Mutants” appears to fulfill Boone’s promise to Entertainment Weekly earlier this year that his project would be “very, very different.”
“We are making a full-fledged horror movie set within the X-Men universe,” Boone, director of “The Fault in Our Stars,” told the magazine.
The trailer introduces its five mutant leads, played by Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, and Blu Hunt, apparently trapped in some kind of hospital and trying to gain control of their new powers. There is a lot of darkness, screaming, and running, but none of the world-saving heroics that have come to typify the superhero film genre.
“The New Mutants” is based on an X-Men spin-off comic created in the early 1980s by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bob McLeod. It began as a sort of junior varsity X-Men team, but it veered into a more bizarre and surreal tone when Bill Sienkiewicz took over art chores.
Boone described the Claremont/Sienkiewicz run to Entertainment Weekly as “Stephen King meets John Hughes.” Though the New Mutants property has been revived several times since then, the trailer makes clear that this run is the film’s inspiration.
“The New Mutants” is currently scheduled for release on April 13, 2018.