Fans of the shared mutant universe over at what was 20th Century Fox are excited about The New Mutants, technically the last film in the series that began 20 years ago with the original X-Men. Yet, this film almost shared even more with that universe, at least until X-Men: Age of Apocalypse threw everything into disarray. Co-writer and director of The New Mutants recently revealed that Professor X and Storm used to play a role in the movie. Unfortunately, when things started to shift behind the scenes (and Disney and 20th Century Fox entered into merger talks), that plan got the axe.
The film contains a major connection to an X-Men-era character, though the timeline is a bit confusion. Anya Taylor-Joy’s Ilyana Rasputin is Magik, the younger sister of Colossus. This character, whose real name is Piotr Nikolayevich Rasputin, has been portrayed by three different actors in the X-Men shared universe. First was Donald McKinnon’s wordless cameo as Piotr in the mansion, quietly sketching. Then came Daniel Cudmore’s (mostly not-Russian) version of the character who was a supporting player in the next two X-films and X-Men: Days of Future Past. (Which reset the timeline and was meant to address any discontinuity between the old and new films.)
Finally, there was the older, comics-accurate Colossus in both Deadpool films. The motion capture performance for the CGI character came from T.J. Storm and Andre Tricoteux. The character’s voice performance came from Serbian actor Stefan Kapičić. If the Deadpool version of Colossus is the “same” version as the earlier version, then that would make Ilyana his older sister.
What Josh Boone Had to Say about Professor X and Storm in The New Mutants.
Image via 20th Century Studios
When Fox sought to reboot the X-Men, they turned to the X-Men: First Class concept, which showed the beginnings of the super-team. Following this came the highly-regarded Days of Future Past, and then things were only going to get bigger. The comic villain Apocalypse would finally come to live-action in X-Men: Apocalypse. However, this film earned very poor reviews and negative fan reception. It made money at the box office, but about $200 million less than its predecessor. This apparently shook things up in the boardroom and in the studio.
As Boone tells Slashfilm.com:
“We were lucky. They really did want it to be different than other stuff. They really pushed us to keep it separate from X-Men stuff, even though it’s set in the X-Men universe. We had early drafts that were supposed to be in the same timeline as Apocalypse, so it was originally going to be set in the ’80s. Originally, Professor X and Storm were in it, and Storm very much played the Alice Braga role. Over the course of months, a new studio head came in, they said they didn’t want any X-Men movies to take place in the past anymore, as if that was the reason that Apocalypse was bad.”
Whether or not Apocalypse was “bad” is a discussion for another time, but it’s especially disheartening to hear that film derailed plans for Alexandra Shipp’s Ororo Munroe. Even though she’s been in both series of X-Men films, played originally by Halle Berry, many fans still want more. Storm has never been given the chance to truly shine in the ensemble films she appeared in. A leader in the comics, Storm was never front-and-center in the films. This abandoned version of The New Mutants would have been one more chance to give Storm her due.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Alice Braga is in The New Mutants playing Cecilia Reyes. In the comics, Reyes is a mutant who can project force fields around herself and others. She doesn’t have a codename, but she’s a doctor. Thus, she’s more into fixing people up than beating them up. She will mentor and hone the group into a team. It would have been a great role for Storm, and possibly James McAvoy’s Professor X.
What do you think? Are you disappointed that Storm and Professor X are no longer in The New Mutants? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via 20th Century Fox
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.