When the first trailer for The New Mutants dropped approximately a decade ago [or in October 2017] it looked like something completely different from anything we had seen in the X-Men movies so far. It was one of the reasons people were looking forward to the movie; the X-Men series had been jogging in place since 1999, with the exception of Deadpool and Logan, and it was time to shake things up. You need variety in tone with your superhero movies these days if you're going to survive. It seems that 20 Century Fox, at the time, seemed to agree that it was time to try something different with The New Mutants. X-Men: Apocalypse had just underperformed and according to director Josh Boone in an interview with /Film he was specifically told to limit connections to the greater X-Men universe.
We were lucky. They really did want it to be different than other stuff. They really pushed us to keep it separate from X-Men stuff, even though it's set in the X-Men universe. We had early drafts that were supposed to be in the same timeline as [X-Men:] Apocalypse, so it was originally going to be set in the '80s. Originally, Professor X and Storm were in it, and Storm very much played the Alice Braga role. Over the course of months, a new studio head came in, they said they didn't want any X-Men movies to take place in the past anymore, as if that was the reason that Apocalypse was bad. [laughs] So we were put in the position where we kind of rewrote it to be set now in a nebulous [point in time], because nobody knew how the movies had turned out. Dark Phoenix wasn't out yet. Yeah, it's there – they talk about Professor X and those things, but it doesn't have cameos from anyone or anything like that.
Marvel hasn't said what they are doing with The New Mutants but if it ends up being a commercial and critical success like this writer very much hopes it will be, it sounds like it will stand alone enough that with a little tweaking they could slot it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The irony of the fact that the first X-Men movie is the forever delayed The New Mutants would be about the biggest power move Marvel could be aside from retroactively making the two Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider movies part of the official canon.
Summary: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.
The New Mutants, directed by Josh Boone, stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Alice Braga, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga. It has a release date of August 28th, at least for now.