The New Mutants: Josh Boone Talks Adapting the Demon Bear Story

As audiences make the personal decision about whether or not they are going to go see The New Mutants this weekend it's going to be interesting to see how audience versus critical reactions is going to be. This is an adaptation of the classic Demon Bear storyline and during the virtual press conference director Josh Boone talked about seeing those comics for the first time as a kid and how much of an impact they had on him.

And we grew up in the 1980's reading Marvel Comics, and I still vividly remember to this day seeing the covers of the New Mutants comics that Bill [Sienkiewicz] started working on these demon bear ones. Cause they did not look like any comic book covers I'd ever seen before. They were painted, they were impressionistic, they were, had a more slippery surreal look than typical comic books do. I'd just never seen anything like that before. So, they really captured my imagination, and I thought about them really for years.

The New Mutants: Josh Boone Talks Adapting the Demon Bear Story
A new poster for The New Mutants inspired by New Mutants #18: Credit: Official New Mutants Twitter and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Bleeding Cool got the chance to talk to Boone about The New Mutants and the act of adapting something that you love and how this is 100% his vision that is being brought to the big screen.

Bleeding Cool: You mentioned during the press conference yesterday that you were a huge fan of the Demon Bear storyline and all that stuff. And sometimes when you're adapting something that you really love, it can be hard to disconnect "I'm adapting this as a fan and then also I'm adapting this as a writer and director for a larger audience." Did you have a hard time picking and choosing what needed to go in the movie? 

Josh Boone: An example would be, we really wanted Lockheed to be in the movie because, in New Mutants, Lockheed is very important to Illyana. Even though Lockheed doesn't belong to Illyana, his origin has nothing to do with Illyana. He's from space. We wanted that dragon in there, but what we tried to do was find very organic ways to root him into her backstory. We used all the mythology and all the origin stories from the comics, but we grounded it where it needed to be grounded. It's why we'd never use a character like Magma. You know, it's like I'm not going to do a back story in the rainforest where there's an undiscovered, highly advanced civilization. When your powers are just like Roberto's and he's a normal guy from Brazil. You know, it's just that sort of thing.

It's just making the choices that you need to make in order to make sure that it is digestible to the 98 percent of people who watch it. Who've never read a comic of the New Mutants but at the same time holding true — especially the heart and the soul of their stories and their backstories — to make sure you're representing the twelve-year-old in you. … You're kind of balancing all that stuff, but you never think about it that deeply because you're writing, it's intuitive and all of that stuff, things just happen organically. 

The New Mutants: Josh Boone Talks Adapting the Demon Bear Story
Anya Taylor-Joy in The New Mutants (2020). Credit: 20th Century Studios

BC: There was this whole big thing with all the rumors of the reshoots, and then they never happened, and then it was just absolute insanity. Would you say that this is like one hundred percent your vision that's ending up on-screen? 

JB: One hundred percent my cut of the movie that we shot. It's not like we had a bunch of stuff to go reshoot, but we certainly had ideas after the fact. We would have gone and had another scene we wrote. It was pretty cool, it would've been awesome, but it was too expensive and it's a reshoot and it wasn't going to happen during that time. I'm really happy with it. I truly wouldn't be here talking about it if I wasn't, and neither would the cast. We would not come to promote this multiple times or waste our time talking to 50 journalists in a day. They really let me finish the movie the way I saw fit. They were really supportive partners. And it's like I mean, truly, I defy anybody to find the other superhero movie done in the studio that has anything like this in any way.

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's in theaters now.

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com

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