The New Mutants has had a bit of a rough roading making it to the big screen. The movie was shot three years ago and then sat in the vault unfinished at Fox and Disney for a long time. Bleeding Cool got the chance to speak to director Josh Boone about how they didn't even do pick-ups of any kind and why it took so long for this movie to make it to the big screen.
Bleeding Cool: So to say that it's been kind of a crazy road to getting this movie to the big screen would be kind of an understatement. And honestly, when they were offering you all the interviews, I was like, I have to talk to Josh because I have to know about this.
Josh Boone: Secrets of Hollywood.
BC: It's just it blows my mind. Yesterday when you were asked about the reshoots. You mentioned that you didn't even do pick-ups.
JB: My phone told me the other day that I'd been on set three years ago. And I was like, oh, my god. Three years ago. And I was like, "Ah, I miss those guys and I'm going to see them in a couple of days, this is great."
BC: Not even having pickups is just bizarre from a filmmaking standpoint.
JB: Looking in the context of everything that happened, it sort of makes sense. So when we went to make this movie, we thought we were making the first movie in potentially a three-movie franchise. Dark Phoenix was two movies at the time. We kind of thought this thing was just going to keep going. When we got into the editing room, it was announced the Disney merger was happening. Literally every interest in us was gone and all interest was in Dark Phoenix. It costs three times as much as us. It had a much more important cast that needed to be taken care of. And more importantly, it was, I think, pretty sure two movies. That half of it had been done and they really needed to make it not be that, so that it could be finished. Ours had similar issues where most of the editorial that I worked this last time through, was really to untangle it for many Fox related things that we had planned for the future, you know?
The hard part of this was the limbo during the merger, which was over a year where I was working on The Stand doing other stuff, but not knowing what was going on with the movie and really knowing that Fox didn't know either. It's just sort of was what it was. But it had a happy ending for me because Disney invited me to come and finish everything. So we were able to finish the movie exactly as we wanted to. We're really proud of how it turned out. I was able to show it to the cast and they were excited about it. So I don't know. It does have a happy ending, even though it took so long. It is weird that it's opening now when the kids are quarantined inside a hospital they can't get out of. It's just weird. And in this end I did which had a pandemic, so like, I'm creeped out all the time.
BC: Did not having pick-ups affect the editing at all? Because that can be essential when it comes to editing.
JB: Sometimes you just want to insert. We were lucky, we had almost everything we needed because I storyboarded the entire movie pretty much, and I had the best DP on the planet. Peter Demming who shot Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks. He's like a god to me. So we got most everything we needed. There are always things you wish you could have done, but truly I am so happy that the movie is coming out because somehow we were able to smuggle [into theaters]. Comic book movies today star adults. They don't star teenagers. Teenagers aren't represented.
But a huge movie market used to be teen movies, teen horror movies, teen comedies. So I really did want to make a teen movie like a John Hughes movie, like a Breakfast Club. I wanted to do what Joss Whedon did 30 years ago in Buffy and I have a gay romance, a real gay romance. It worked so organically with the material in the comic and the way these girls interacted. We were just trying to get all the things in that we love that we didn't see in movies anymore, that we felt like a superhero movie could do. And it did probably put us in a weird position in the studio because we weren't like other movies. We have all the superheroes and all the cool stuff any marvel fan would want. We've got cool stuff for horror fans, but we have stuff like my other movies, too. It's character-driven and performance-driven.
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.