The letter X is an ambiguous letter. At times, it can be the sign of approval, love and sheer awesomeness. In other situations though, it can be a sign of rejection and dismay, marking that things went wrong. In the case of the X-Men films, it seems to go both ways. Some of the films were really good (X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past come to mind), while some literally tried to bring the apocalypse to the franchise (like X-Men: Apocalpyse).
So far, we’ve had two main trilogies (one featuring the “older” cast of Patrick Stewart and co, and another featuring the “newer” cast of James McAvoy and co) and an entire Wolverine spin-off trilogy (which ended with the brilliant Logan). When The New Mutants was initially announced, it certainly raised eyebrows. Apocalypse was a total disaster and nailed the coffin for the franchise, while Logan literally put the franchise’s best character in the coffin. Deadpool on the other hand, pretty much has a life of his own. It really makes one wonder where The New Mutants would fit in the whole equation until very recently, when the first trailer was finally released.
The trailer does show promise, as it does something that has never really been done in a superhero film: horror. A superhero-horror movie? Definitely an X. But is it an X of approval or X or rejection? While the trailer is definitely intriguing, if the film doesn’t pull it off well, it would end up being more like a superhero horror fan-fiction rather than a legit superhero film with horror elements.
What could Fox do to make The New Mutants to mark an X on the right spot? Here are 3 things that could be done to let The New Mutants really leave its mark.
3. No Forced Relationships
While the X-Men films definitely has great action, let’s face it: when it comes to personal relationships, especially of the romantic kind, Fox kind of fumbles in this department. In the original trilogy, the whole Logan/Phoenix thing comes as obsessive, forced and annoying. In the James McAvoy trilogy, the whole Xavier-Magneto-Mystique love triangle felt so wrong and out of place. In the first two Wolverine films, the relationships were just as horribly done as well. The only things they got right are the grueling Prof X/Magneto relationship (which was very well-done in Days of Future Past) and everything between Logan and X-23 in Logan.
Now, the trailer has already set a very dark, brooding tone for the film. Not to say that romance is unwelcome or unnecessary – it could work in this film. But if Fox doesn’t take a hint from how unwelcome it was in their previous films, forced and relationships need to go. Bad relationships were never supposed to last long in the first place.
2. Up the Action and Horror
If there’s something that Deadpool and Logan have proven, it’s that their R-rated action has a place among audiences and really add to the feel of their films. In Deadpool, the killer action provided a stark contrast to the otherwise offbeat 4th wall-breaking humor, while in Logan, the intense action really highlights the pain and suffering faced by the titular character. Since The New Mutants seem to be going for the whole horror vibe, imagine some really grotesque torture and pain added to the mix. That could add a whole new dimension never before explored in any superhero film, and it could become The New Mutants‘ secret weapon.
1. Tie All the Loose Knots
If there’s one problem with the X-Men universe so far, it’s the timeline continuity. There are a lot of loopholes and unexplained events, and with Days of Future Past, the entire timeline got reset and even more messed up. On top of that, it’s still vague how where exactly does Deadpool sit in the timeline, and with Logan ending the entire Wolverine story arc, it’s a wonder where The New Mutants is supposed to be. So naturally, it would be great if this film actually explains what is happening where and when.
Time will tell if The New Mutants will bring something new to the table, or rehash the same old formula, only with different faces. The horror element could make it a standout, though if done badly, it could make The New Mutants seem like fan-fiction. This film needs to get the X on the right spot, and not X off its own existence.