‘The New Mutants’ Was Originally a Direct Sequel to ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’
I haven’t seen The New Mutants yet. (There’s the whole matter of there are no movie theaters open in the entire state where I live.) But if the early reviews are to be believed, it sure looks like the movie itself is a lot less interesting than it's long and tortured production, which spanned years, a gigantic corporate merger, and countless versions. This week, we already learned about one version of the movie where Storm from the X-Men played the role of the New Mutants’ “sadistic jailer” in the film, and now Entertainment Weekly has a description of the first draft of the movie, which is full of new, fascinating details.
The script they got their hands on dates to November 2015, and describes a movie much more connected to the X-Men movie universe than the one we eventually got. This version would have essentially functioned as a direct sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse, and featured that movie’s version of Storm (played by Alexandra Shipp). It also would have drawn from elements of the famous X-Men comic storyline “Lifedeath,” where a depowered Storm confronts the reality of existence without her mutant powers:
The concept, set three years after the events of the Apocalypse movie, saw a punk rock Ororo (in her famous comics-style leather vest and white mohawk) struggling with PTSD from her days as a Horseman of Apocalypse and the loss of her powers. She stumbles upon the remains of a Native American reservation in the opening scenes and discovers Dani as the only survivor, thus segueing into the main Demon Bear inspiration for the movie.
EW says the script they have doesn’t match the description of Storm as a “jailer.” Instead, “Xavier appoints Ororo caretaker of a school for new mutants set up at a rundown, abandoned hospital, complete with makeshift Danger Room made from X-Men hand-me-downs.” (Whoever gets Wolverine hand-me-downs really gets screwed. They must be full of holes!)
You can read much more about all the behind-the-scenes drama on The New Mutants at EW. While I still want to see The New Mutants — for completist’s sake, if nothing else — I must admit, I’m more excited to read its inevitable oral history in 20 years than to actually watch the movie.
Gallery — Every X-Men Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best: