The New Mutants Reshoots: Are Behind The Scenes Drama Ruining Our Perception Of Movies?

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BY March 19, 2020

The New Mutants reshoots caused a lot of problems for Fox’s X-Men franchise. Not more so than the issues with the X-Men movies themselves, as Dark Phoenix proved. But still, there was a lot of controversy during production on The New Mutants. In a recent interview director Josh Boone now claims that there were no issues to begin with. According to Boone, The New Mutants reshoots rumors were just rumors.

While The New Mutants was supposed to finally release in theatres on April 3rd, the recent Coronavirus pandemic delayed it indefinitely. In the meantime, I can’t help but wonder how much of Boone’s comments about the reshoots we can trust. Given that they were made prior to the Coronavirus delay, maybe it was just a good PR move to create positive buzz about the movie? But all this back-and-forth has me thinking. What if all this prior knowledge of behind the scenes drama will affect my reaction to The New Mutants? Does hearing about all the problems, impact how we perceive certain movies? And have some movies already fallen victim to this?

The New Mutants Reshoots Debunked By Director Josh Boone

The New Mutants reshoots cast Image via Disney.

The New Mutants was a pitch back in 2015 about an original idea for an X-Men spinoff. Set in the world of Fox’s X-Men franchise, the movie began production by 2017. At the end of that very year, Disney announced its acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox. The release of The New Mutants faced delays. Many times. The movie’s release was in limbo during the Disney-Fox merger.

Rumors began that the originally planned YA horror film may not be suitable for Disney’s brand. Opposing reports suggested that the movie wasn’t scary enough. Which is what necessitated The New Mutants reshoots. The fate of the movie once Disney took over Fox became a debate by conspiracy theorists. Is the movie canceled? Would it release on Disney+? Maybe Hulu? Earlier this year, Boone surprised everyone by announcing a new trailer. Along with the movie’s originally planned theatrical release date of April 3, 2020. Now, In an interview with EW, Boone says that The New Mutants reshoots never happened. And that the movie is exactly what they wanted to make.

“Everybody said we did reshoots! We’ve never done reshoots.”

–Josh Boone

But how much of this can we even believe at this point? It wouldn’t be uncommon for the stars and director to toe the company line. To put on a smile and speak positively about the experience. It is their job after all and no one would blame them for doing so. Especially to ensure the long-awaited release of a passion project. But at this point, does it even matter?

How The New Mutants Reshoot Rumours Could Influence The Movie Itself

The New Mutants reshoots powers Image via Disney.

The new release date for The New Mutants is now in limbo. Again. When does eventually release, everyone is going to pay extra close attention. Not because it’s a highly anticipated movie. But simply in an attempt to spot any clues about these reported issues. For the better part of 2 years, the only New Mutants coverage involved the problems with the movie or its studio. So can we ever judge the finished product on its own merits now? Will our experience of the movie be free from those perceptions? When aspects of the movie don’t live up to expectations, people assumed this confirms the scandalous rumors. The bar for The New Mutants is unreasonably high.

The New Mutants Reshoots Wouldn’t Be The First Time Drama Sank A Movie

John Carter Poster Image via Disney.

A movie failing critically or commercially, due to its scandals, has happened before. One infamous debacle occurred with a reboot of the Fantastic Four. Josh Trank was the director of the amazing proto-superhero found footage film Chronicle. He got the job soon after to reboot the Fantastic Four. But Many on-set clashes led to reports of producers re-writing Trank’s script. Apparently, continued problems led to his firing as well. But due to the Director’s Guild rules, he had to remain on set, while one of the producers ghost-directed the movie. Allegedly. Fantastic Four was a massive flop. Despite a small section of audiences appreciating what it could have been. One has to wonder if those reports of all the problems didn’t influence audiences in some way. They lost faith that they were seeing the director’s artistic vision, but rather getting a story by committee.

Disney’s own failed-before-release movie was John Carter, based on stories by Edward R. Burroughs. This character’s iconic stories inspired fantastical tales like Superman, Star Wars, Avatar and many more. But, even before John Carter would release, the problems began. Changing studio heads, a big budget, and an animation director’s first live-action film created a narrative of chaos. Such problems led to one of Disney’s biggest box office embarrassments. News of all this circulated well before the release of the film causing its downfall. There is also a book on the film’s troubled production. It states that the marketing didn’t do enough the counter the chaotic narrative about the film, despite test audiences enjoying it.

Not All Behind The Scenes Drama Led To Poorly Received Finished Products

Rogue One Poster Image via Disney

Reshoots are actually a part of a film’s production schedule. The industry knows them as ‘pick-ups.’ It’s essentially time and money put aside in a film’s budget for any additions or improvements. Yet, somewhere down the line, reshoots became indicative of production being in trouble. For whatever reason. The perception became that if portions of a movie were reshot, it must mean the movie itself wasn’t good. Or that test audiences didn’t like it. Or that the makes or studio were not happy with it. This could be the case sometimes, but not generally.

More often than not, reshoots dramatically improve the final product. As was the case with Rogue One, one of the first spin-off Star Wars movies in this new iteration. Directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One had a lot of reshoots, notably in the ending of the movie. Christopher McQuarrie (Mission Impossible: Fallout) even came in to rework the script. Ultimately, Rogue One went on to become one of the best films in the Star Wars canon.

There Is Hope For The New Mutants

The New Mutants reshoots poster. Image via Disney.

Hopefully, The New Mutants reshoots fall more in line with Rogue One than John Carter. The film looks unique and interesting and could easily be the mutant movie for a new generation. Let’s hope that, unlike others, the negative press won’t affect the movie’s chances. However difficult it may be to not let those aspects influence our perception of the movie.

No official new release date has been confirmed for The New Mutants.

What do you think The New Mutants chances are the box office? Let us know in the comments below.

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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