Fresh off the heels of Logan’s critical and box office success, Fox are expanding the X-Men franchise with a New Mutants film that has been a long-time coming. Today, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Anya Taylor-Joy, star of 2015’s The Witch and this year’s M. Night Shyamalan comeback hit Split, and Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones’ Arya Stark, would be leading up the film’s cast. The film is to be helmed by Josh Boone, director of The Fault in Our Stars, who will be working on the script with his writing partner, Knate Lee.
New Mutants were an X-Men spin off created by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod in the early 1980s. The diverse group of teens includes Native American Danielle Moonstar, Scottish lass Wolfsbane, a Brazilian ladies man named Sunspot, Cannonball, who is from Kentucky, a Russian girl named Magik and an alien named Warlock. According to Boone, he will be drawing on on Claremont’s run in the comics, which featured Demon Bear, a villain who draws power from negative human emotions and who begins haunting the dreams of Moonstar.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Taylor-Joy will play the Russian teen Magik, the sister of Colossus, the hulking metal X-Man who appeared in 2016’s Deadpool. Magik, as her name suggests, knows sorcery and she uses teleportation discs to travel. Williams is set to play Wolfsbane, a Scottish girl with the ability to turn into a wolf, something that directly conflicts with her religious beliefs. James McAvoy is also due to reprise his role as Charles Xavier in the film, which begins production in July.
While Taylor-Joy and Williams’ casting is exciting news and shows that the project, which has been swirling around for over a year, is finally getting off the ground, perhaps the most encouraging sign is that Fox are apparently making a serious effort to cast a Native American actress as Moonstar and to find a South American actor for Sunspot. Considering this week’s monumental failure with the announcement that Zach McGowan would be whitewashing the role of native Hawaiian hero Benehakaka Kanahele in the historical film Ni’ihau, it’s encouraging to hear Fox are taking the casting process serious. Hopefully, they don’t disappoint us in the end.