The troubles continue for The New Mutants. This long-delayed X-Men spin-off has been collecting dust for the better part of two years now and, while the movie has a release date currently, things are far from certain when it comes to this project’s release. Case in point, Disney is in the middle of a major strategy shift when it comes to handling future releases from Fox and the studio is reportedly unimpressed with this particular title.
According to a new report detailing the inner workings of the Disney/Fox struggle following the $71.3 billion merger that went into effect in March, Disney allegedly believes that The New Mutants has limited box office potential. At present, it’s scheduled for release on April 3, 2020. However, given the studio’s reported uncertainty, it would seem that is far from a guarantee. And there are plenty of other factors to consider. Not the least of which being Dark Phoenix, which Disney also inherited from Fox. The X-Men adaptation absolutely tanked at the box office and contributed to heavy losses Disney was forced to post from its theatrical business in its most recent quarter.
Point being, the studio has no reason to put a lot of resources behind this horror-themed X-Men spin-off, despite having a top-notch cast led by Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy. Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars) is in the director’s chair, but he reportedly clashed with Fox on the cut. Reshoots were ordered but, when we last heard, those reshoots still haven’t taken place. Amazingly, this movie was originally supposed to be released on April 13, 2018. Yet, thanks to the clash, it’s just been sitting. A trailer was even released nearly two years ago. Needless to say, it’s a big mess.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Disney when it comes to 20th Century Fox right now. Nearly every Fox title released by Disney since the merger has bombed at the box office, including Stuber and, more recently, The Art of Racing in the Rain. That has left the studio unsure of how to proceed with finished projects, which also include the high-dollar sci-fi flick Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt. Recently, Disney axed the vast majority of Fox’s production slate in hopes of refocusing the brand for the future.
As far as the X-Men go, control of the mutants, as well as the Fantastic Four and Deadpool, have been handed off to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who will incorporate them into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To that point, Disney may not want to put too much attention on The New Mutants, since that version of the franchise is going to be abandoned anyway. Whatever comes of this one movie, it’s just one small part of a transition that hasn’t gone according to plan. But if anyone can turn things around, it’s Disney. This news comes to us via Variety.