This year’s San Diego Comic-Con replacement, Comic-Con@Home, was pretty damn disappointing. Sure, fans got to see new trailers and clips and some decent interactions between cast members of some genre projects, but overall, there wasn’t that big exciting, surprise announcement or show-stopping panel. Many assumed the biggest news was going to come from the “New Mutants” Q&A, where people were predicting that 20th Century Studios would announce that the long-delayed superhero film would land on a streaming service and forgo the theatrical release that seems to be damn-near impossible. Well, that didn’t happen, and according to the director, Josh Boone, there’s a good reason for that.
Speaking to Collider, Boone was asked if there’s a reason why 20th Century Studios didn’t announce a Hulu or Disney+ debut for “The New Mutants.” And while the film seems like it’ll be perpetually delayed for the next decade, Boone gave a solid reason why the teen superhero horror feature will get that theatrical release…eventually.
“With most movies, you sign contracts that guarantee a theatrical release, so it needs to open to ever go digital in the first place,” he explained. “We just, too, would like to see people to see it in the theater. But it needs to obviously be at the right time when it’s safe to go back.”
Obviously, Boone didn’t go into specifics about the contractual negotiations, but it sure does sound like the film is destined for the big screen, come Hell or high water. So, even though it makes sense for Disney (who now owns the rights to “The New Mutants”) to just get this film in front of fans ASAP, on whatever platform is available, given the film is expected to have limited box office returns, it appears that there’s a business reason that is preventing the studio from doing that.
As mentioned, “The New Mutants” has been delayed for eons, with the first trailer debuting way back in 2017. In the interim, the film has been the subject of numerous reports that the studio (then 20th Century Fox) was unhappy with Boone’s first cut and was demanding extensive reshoots. Those planned reshoots were delayed and finally dismissed thanks to the Disney/Fox merger last year.
Since then, the film has been delayed due to COVID-19 and it appears the film is likely going to miss it’s August 28 release date (based only on the fact that other studios are vacating their late-summer/early-fall plans). So, at this point, much like we’ve said about ‘New Mutants’ in the past, we’ll believe the film is going to be released when it’s on the big screen in front of us.