Is Covid-19 Saving ‘The New Mutants’ from the Jaws of Failure?

Filmed in the summer of 2017, the first trailer for this Marvel comics movie in the universe of the X-Men came out in October 2017 with a theatrical release date set for April 2018. This was then pushed back, not once, not twice, not even thrice, but at least four times! 

The Fox/Disney merger caused huge uncertainty with a number of projects that were in early stages of production but as this was essentially finished already and undergoing some reshoots it seemed to be shelved for a while, surprising many when it did get a new cinematic release scheduled under the Disney ownership. All seemed positive for it to come out in April until the COVID-19 pandemic pushed all movie releases back, making this a punchline and declared ‘cursed’ by critics and pundits. 

Disney announced this week that they’re pushing everything else on their schedule back again, most imminent of these was ‘Mulan’. It wouldn’t have been surprising then for this to be included in the list of films getting new release dates, though as it’s already been pushed so many times it seemed like it would be taken off the release schedule altogether and instead just go to streaming, but, as it’s not a good fit for Disney+, Hulu isn’t international, and pre-existing agreements seem to suggest it would have to go to initially HBO Max (also not international) as an exclusive streaming platform.

With the ComicCon panel online sparking rumours it was about to have a new date (the same day Disney moved a bunch of other titles to new dates) or be dropped on streaming, which would’ve been a great way to do it if that was what they were going to do, in the end, the panel brought neither. So, when the perfect opportunity to move or release the movie passes with nothing changing, ‘New Mutants’ now stands as one of the very first new wide releases on the schedule and by far the best known.

That leaves us with two possibilities. One, it’s about to be moved back yet again but Disney didn’t take the prime opportunity to announce that. Or two, something that could be sheer brilliance, ‘The New Mutants’ is going to get released as scheduled on August 28th, becoming one of the first new movies in cinemas in months.

Recently there have been other films proudly announcing that they were going to be deliberately releasing as one of the first new wide-releases, some suggesting they were doing it altruistically to benefit cinemas, others admitting they hoped to boost their box office chances. ‘The New Mutants’ wasn’t seen as one of those, it was caught up as a victim of the international cinema closures, yet now, by apparently holding to the once merely optimistic August date, it may give Disney an opportunity to turn a long-shelved, almost scrapped, troubled production, into at least a modest box-office success.

Marketing the movie with a stronger emphasis on its X-Men ties, a young cast popular from ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Game of Thrones’, even highlighting the director’s huge success with ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, could tempt people, especially those who are not in the older, vulnerable groups, back out to cinemas. 

When it looked like the film was being shelved and reworked, this seemed unlikely to get people into even a quarter of the seats in cinema screens, now, after there have been next to no new films released for nearly half a year, this has a really good chance of filling every available seat in many cinemas. Being as it was a film that might have originally been put into just one or two of the smaller screens with a few slots per day, it’ll now get a far bigger release than even the last X-Men film, potentially taking half, or more if popular, of the empty screens. What a potential turnaround. 

I’m hoping this actually is Disney’s plan, if so it’s a brilliant one, though I’ve got to resign myself to the more likely scenario that it’s either about to be rescheduled or reshelved yet again. I hope not, because I’m not the only one who has gone from originally only going to see this at the cinema if I heard really excellent reviews and found myself with some spare time and money, to planning to see it at my earliest possible convenience because I’m desperate to get back to seeing things at the cinema and a weird psychedelic super-powered horror could be just the ticket!

Oscar Nominations List 2018/2019 Printable Ballot Sheet PDF & Predictions

Here’s the full list of this year’s Academy Award nominees who are hoping to take home a little golden man tomorrow night, Sunday 25th February 2019. 

I’ve had a go at predicting the winners below, using my normal system of 1. for most likely winner, 2. for what’ll win if the first choice doesn’t, and I’ve indicated a P. for my personal preference of who I would like to see win where applicable. 

Also, you can download a full printable 2019 Oscar PDF ballot sheet here that can be completed digitally or printed and written on old school. Why not have a go at predicting the winners or challenge your friends and family to do the same. I’ll be watching the ceremony tomorrow night eagerly, though I don’t expect many big upsets or surprises, though I hope for some!

Best picture

Best actor

Best actress

Best supporting actor

Best supporting actress

  • Amy Adams – Vice
  • Marina de Tavira – Roma
  • 1. Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Emma Stone – The Favourite
  • 2. Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Best director

  • 1P. Alfonso Cuaron – Roma
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
  • 2. Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
  • Adam McKay – Vice
  • Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War

Best adapted screenplay

Best original screenplay

Best foreign language film

  • Capernaum – Lebanon
  • 2. Cold War – Poland
  • Never Look Away – Germany
  • 1P. Roma – Mexico
  • Shoplifters – Japan

Best original song

Best original score

Best animated feature

Best documentary feature

  • 1P. Free Solo
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  • Minding the Gap
  • Of Fathers and Sons
  • 2. RBG

Best cinematography

Best costume design

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Mary Zophres
  • 1P. Black Panther – Ruth E. Carter
  • 2. The Favourite – Sandy Powell
  • Mary Poppins Returns – Sandy Powell
  • Mary Queen of Scots – Alexandra Byrne

Best make-up and hairstyling

  • Border
  • 2. Mary Queen of Scots
  • 1. Vice

Best production design

Best visual effects

Best film editing

Best sound editing

Best sound mixing

Best animated short

Best live action short

  • Detainment
  • Fauve
  • 1. Marguerite
  • Mother
  • 2. Skin

Best documentary short

  • 2. Black Sheep
  • End Game
  • Lifeboat
  • A Night at the Garden
  • 1. Period. End of Sentence.