Following months of teases, pre-production has officially begun on Fox's X-Men series spinoff "New Mutants."
Director Josh Boone signaled the development in a pair of photos, one of his New Mutants-themed birthday cake taken at the film's production offices, and another of himself on the lot of 20th Century Fox.
Inspired by the "Demon Bear Saga," the influential 1984 Marvel Comics storyline by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, the film will center on the younger students at Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, expected to include a lineup of classic characters like Mirage, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, Cannonball, Magik and Warlock.
In the original story, the students must band together to save their teammate Dani Moonstar (Mirage), and themselves, from the enormous demonic bear that had killed her parents and stalked her. “It was really dark, interesting,” Boone, the director of "The Fault In Our Stars," recalled in December, “and different from the typical X-Men stories that we had read.”
Although no casting has been announced, in February Boone shared concept art of Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane, stopping short of confirming long-circulating rumors the "Game of Thrones" star will play the shape-shifting mutant. James McAvoy has also hinted at his return this summer to the role of Professor X, but it's unclear whether it would be for "New Mutants" or the next installment of the X-Men series.
Franchise producer Simon Kinberg has said "New Mutants" will share DNA with Netflix's summer hit "Stranger Things," which drew inspiration from 1980s film and popular culture. “I think that ‘New Mutants’ will be influenced by the same things that ‘Stranger Things’ was influenced by," he said. "I don’t think we will look at ‘Stranger Things’ as a model. We look at the same models that they did, which is the Amblin movies and actually, weirdly, the John Hughes movies.”
Boone, a lifelong comic book fan, originally pitched "New Mutants" as a trilogy, although it's unclear what Fox's current plans are. He and longtime friend Knate Gwaltney wrote the original draft, with “The Fault in Our Stars” screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber later hired to take another pass.
Filming is expected to begin this summer in Montreal, with "New Mutants" targeted for release in 2018.
(via Screen Rant)