The story of Fox's The New Mutants is been an uncertain one so far. The film has been plagued by delays, reshoots and questions about its target audience. Recently, the film's producer, Simon Kinberg, revealed that even Fox is unsure of what the film's finally MPAA rating will be. It could be a safe PG-13, or it could receive an R rating. A concrete decision hasn't been made yet.
“It’s the kind of movie that could go R, or it could be a hard PG-13," said Kinberg in an interview with Collider. "As I was saying before in terms of subgenres or the genre, it is obviously teased as a horror film, and most horror films these days are R-rated, but it stars a very young cast, so we’ll see. It really is what the movie wants to be. The studio is open to either rating… Traditionally, superhero movies are PG-13 other than Logan and the Deadpool movies, and generally, horror films are R-rated, so we’ll see where this one falls. It is a very scary, edgy movie.”
This isn't the first time that a "hard PG-13" rating has been mentioned in reference to the film. Director Josh Boone said in January that The New Mutants will push the limits of a PG-13 rating, as the X-Men adjacent film is a horror flick through and though.
“This movie is probably the hardest PG-13 ever made,” Boone said at the time. “I mean, we’ve pushed it. The horror is pretty dark, but there’s also an emotional core, too. If I can scare you and make you cry: that’s the goal.”
That same report claimed that screen tests for the film yielded a tepid response, prompting the studio to amp up the horror aspect. Given the film's horror focus, a PG-13 rating would be a surprise. The complication is likely that The New Mutants isn't just a horror movie, but also a superhero movie that is directly linked to the X-Men films, one of the largest superhero movie franchises on the world aside from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The New Mutants could be first superhero movie to test the R-rated superhero-horror movie hybrid market, much like Logan did for Westerns and Deadpool did for comedy. Today's report also included the detail that the reshoots for The New Mutants have yet to commence. We'll likely have a better idea of what exactly the film is looking to achieve (notably its rating) once those reshoots are completed.
The New Mutants debuts in theaters on Aug. 2, 2019.