The Disney/Fox buyout is not going as Disney had planned, and the latest casualty of this bumpy road may be New Mutants, which Variety reports has left Disney execs unimpressed. The studio believes the horror-slanted superhero movie has “limited box office potential” and has given it almost no support.
This isn’t something new for New Mutants. The movie has had a rocky development since its announcement and was originally scheduled to release in April of 2018, with a trailer for it landing all the way back in 2017. However, amidst rumors of a Disney buyout, the lagging returns on the X-Men franchise, and a general lack of faith in the film, the movie got pushed back further and further, ending up in what now appears to be an endless limbo with a company that doesn’t want it. While New Mutants is officially scheduled for a release on April 3, 2020, there’s little to indicate Disney will do anything but dump it into the wild and hope everyone quickly forgets about it.
Disney’s lack of support isn’t just for New Mutants. The company blames Fox’s repeated flops at the box office, including X-Men: Dark Phoenix and Stuber, on a disappointing first quarter for the entertainment behemoth. That’s led to the company basically ditching most of the projects Fox was working on before the buyout, steering the studio towards fewer productions with a priority on more broadly commercial projects like the Avatar sequels. Filmmakers seeking reshoots for their movies are having to submit “rigorous” new storyboards to justify the expense. Even much of Fox’s more family-friendly animation projects are being put on hold or canceled.
The lack of support for New Mutants is too bad, as the film looked to be a genre-bender, delivering a creepy look at superheroes that we hadn’t had before from Marvel. With Disney basically putting the kibosh on this approach, it sounds like we won’t be landing any horror-centered superhero stuff anytime soon — at least not on the big screen.