The rumors are true: Anya Taylor-Joy, the young star of “The Witch,” and ”Game of Thrones” cast member Maisie Williams have been confirmed for “X-Men: New Mutants” a young-adult-style superhero movie being directed by Josh Boone (“The Fault In Our Stars”).
The two actors had been rumored to star in the film more than a year ago. Alexandra Shipp who played the weather-controlling Storm in “X-Men: Apocalypse” was also said to return for the “New Mutants” film, but it’s unclear if she will come aboard.
According to THR (and the original rumor, which was correct), Taylor-Joy, who also appeared in the M. Night Shyamalan film “Split,” will play Magik, a girl who has learned sorcery and uses teleportation discs to travel. She is also Russian and the sister of Colossus, the X-Men character who appeared in “Deadpool” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
As the rumors already suggested, the “Game Of Thrones” star will play the werewolf-like character Wolfsbane. Cannonball, Sunspot, and Mirage are also apparently characters that will appear in the movie — basically the original classic New Mutants line-up as it was in the initial run of 1980s comics. While “New Mutants” has been in the works for a while, the film only received a greenlight earlier this year.
20th Century Fox and producer Simon Kinberg have been doing their best to expand the “X-Men” universe a la Marvel and will face major challenges ahead without Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman and Michael Fassbender who have all left the franchise (Fassbender presumably, but not 100% confirmed). It’s unclear if James McAvoy will return as Professor X in the “New Mutants” film, but the character is crucial in the tutelage of the teen X-Men and recasting the actor would be a little weird at this point (they’re going to throw a ton of money at him, I bet).
Some X-Men spin-offs have stalled including the Channing Tatum-starring “Gambit” and the “Fantastic Four” franchise that would have eventually crossed over. But Kinberg and Fox aren’t letting their roadblocks — including disappointing box office results for “X-Men: Apocalypse” — deter them. Two more “X-Men” films are on the way on top of “New Mutants” — “Deadpool 2” arriving in the heart of the summer of 2018 and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” set for November in the same year.
Much like DC and their CW superhero TV universe, 20th Century Fox isn’t worried about the same characters on the big and small screen and maximizing the brand of their franchises on all platforms. A “Deadpool” animated TV show by Donald Glover was recently announced, an X-Men TV show by Bryan Singer is on the way and of course, FX’s “Legion” was a critically acclaimed hit earlier this year.
This “X-Men: New Mutants” spin-off is set to shoot in June and has a release date of April 13, 2018.