Earlier today Fox delayed the release of The New Mutants from April of 2018 until February of 2019, nearly a year delay for a movie that was nearly released. Trailers are in theaters for the movie already, and it’s basically finished. In fact the movie tested on the Fox lot in LA just last month. The results of that test screening are what likely resulted in this ten month delay…
People familiar with the test screening said it tested well, but not great. And today many of the Hollywood trades are reporting that the upcoming reshoots are to add more horror to the film in the light of successes of movies such as “It”. That’s not entirely true.
Tonight I was able to speak with someone with direct knowledge of the post-production of the movie and the reshoots are not to make it scarier. While audiences responded “okay” to the recent tests, one person involved with the X-Men movie franchise is completely not happy with the movie at all, and the reshoots are meant to lighten the tone of what is said to be a “very very dark (tonally)” movie.
It almost sounds as if this person is a little gun shy of a hard “horror” X-Men movie, which is a huge departure from the core franchise, and is afraid they would have another Fantastic Four (2005) on their hands if audiences reject the dark tone, but that’s just speculation on my part.
That’s not to say the trades are completely wrong. The “It” comparison is actually a very good one in this case. If you look at that movie, it was scary but the overall done wasn’t depressingly dark. People didn’t leave the movie wanting to slit their wrists, instead they wanted to see Part 2. “It”‘s tone was very similar to that of Stranger Things, which itself is inspired by the Stephen King story, and that is probably a good place to look to see where lightening the tone of New Mutants will take the film. It has scares, but isn’t depressingly dark. It sounds like that’s the goal with these reshoots. So those Justice League comparisons absolutely do not apply here.