Why Disney Should Just Release ‘The New Mutants’ to Hulu Now
It’s a trying time all around right now, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, Hollywood is grappling with how to operate in a world where audiences are either in quarantine or taking self-isolating precautions. And the result has been nothing short of chaos.
First, major releases such as A Quiet Place Part II, Mulan, and Fast and Furious 9 were pushed back. Movie theater chains like Regal Cinemas are closing until further notice. And Universal is trying an unprecedented move: releasing new movies on demand even during their theatrical runs.
With that glass ceiling broken, moviegoers are wondering whether other studios will follow suit. It’s unclear whether we’ll see any other big movies making their way to homes soon. After all, such an approach might not work for some films. But it does sound perfect for The New Mutants.
Fox released ‘The New Mutants’ first trailer in 2017
In 2015, director Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) signed on to make a horror-infused superhero movie. Based on the Marvel Comics team, The New Mutants was initially envisioned as a spin-off to Fox’s X-Men series. Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), and Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things) joined the cast. And Fox released the film’s first trailer in October 2017.
Of course, The New Mutants missed its original April 2018 release date. In fact, the film has been pushed back time and again. It was set for release in February 2019, then August 2019, and finally April 2020. Rumors of behind-the-scenes drama and reshoots have continued since then. So the fact that The New Mutants has yet again been put on hold feels like the last straw.
After years of delays, the negative buzz surrounding The New Mutants likely means the film is destined to underperform. Instead, Disney should consider releasing the film on demand, in much the same way Universal is. Boone’s vision deserves to be seen at last. And the uncertain future of the industry doesn’t bode well for its future as a theatrical release anyway.
Josh Boone’s film is a relic of the old ‘X-Men’ franchise
Besides, The New Mutants is already arriving in a very different time for the industry. Since the film’s initial production was complete, Disney has acquired Fox, and that deal — along with the failure of X-Men: Dark Phoenix — definitively closed the book on Fox’s X-Men series.
Disney wants to forge ahead with a rebooted X-Men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And The New Mutants has no place in that grander picture. The film has always been viewed as its own thing and certainly doesn’t gel with the MCU. But now, there’s not even a larger X-Men universe to tie it back to.
Some fans speculated the most recent delay could see Marvel Studios retrofit The New Mutants as a launchpad for the MCU’s X-Men. Yet, with this production’s troubled history, we doubt Marvel Studios would go such a route. Rather than gambling the future of the X-Men on Boone’s film, the MCU wants to start fresh. So Disney might as well clean house by getting The New Mutants out there as soon as possible.
‘The New Mutants’ fits better with Hulu’s ‘X-Men’ offerings
Imagine if The New Mutants did still hit theaters on April 3, 2020, as planned. The film is highly unlikely to set the box office on fire, even without the coronavirus concerns. In fact, the studio has barely marketed it. Perhaps Disney just doesn’t want to expend any extra money on the project. Or it could mean the studio has no faith in The New Mutants. In either case, the film could be the next Fant4stic. And no one wants that.
But if Disney opts to release the film on demand — especially right now — it will feel like an event. Remember how Netflix surprise-released The Cloverfield Paradox right after the Super Bowl a couple of years ago? Disney could employ a similar strategy, giving fans who are already staying at home a genuine thrill. And a new superhero movie to watch.
Since Boone’s film doesn’t seem particularly kid-friendly, we’d recommend Disney send it to Hulu over Disney+. Such a move would probably boost subscriptions for the service. And while there, X-Men fans will be able to check out FX series Legion and The Gifted, both of which are based on Marvel’s mutants.
This release strategy wouldn’t work for more expensive projects such as Black Widow, but for a mid-budgeted film like The New Mutants, this is the best chance it has for success. Plus, we just really want to see it already.