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Mutants and Mirages: Why Nothing in That ‘New Mutants’ Trailer May Be as It Seems

Mutants and Mirages: Why Nothing in That ‘New Mutants’ Trailer May Be as It Seems

A lot of people were surprised or even put out when 20th Century Fox revealed the next movie in the X-Men cinematic universe, The New Mutants, would be a straight-up horror flick. This despite the early issues of the comic itself venturing into horror territory, beginning with Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz’s The Demon Bear Saga – an arc that revolved around a soul-corrupting entity called the Demon Bear.

Early word on the production of The New Mutants hinted at the Demon Bear storyline making its way into the movie in some form or another, though we got little in the trailer to verify that. So here is what we can fairly assume based on the original material, along with some reckless speculation that may or may not also end up being spoilers. If you want to go into the movie clean, best turn away now.

What we can reasonably assume to be true is the five titular young mutants are being held against their will in what appears to be an abandoned mental hospital, although, as stated in the trailer, “this isn’t a hospital, it’s a haunted house.” The set-up invokes A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors more than any X-Men movie to date, with the facility being overseen by Dr. Cecilia Reyes, played by Alice Braga.

Her ostensibly captive patients, in almost no particular order:

Rahne Sinclair, AKA Wolfsbane, played by Maisie Williams, AKA Arya Stark. Her mutant power is, essentially, being a werewolf.

Illyana Rasputin, AKA Magik, played by Anya-Taylor Joy, AKA that girl from The VVitch. In the comics, her powers are directly linked to a hell dimension, allowing her to teleport through space and time and to conjure a flaming sword capable of killing nigh anything.

Roberto da Costa, AKA Sunspot, played by Henry Zaga. Traditionally he absorbs solar energy and converts it into physical strength, which manifests itself as a neat visual that we do not see in the trailer.

Sam Guthrie, AKA Cannonball, played by Charlie Heaton, AKA the older brother from Stranger Things. He can fly and crash through things. Don’t be surprised if that’s tweaked a little for the movie, with an emphasis on the flaming destruction left in his wake.

Danielle ‘Dani’ Moonstar, AKA Mirage, played by Blu Hunt. She gives shape and form to people’s most nightmarish fears.

Three of those five powersets lend themselves very well to horror with Dani’s being the most interesting in relation to our premise, and here’s where we get into some wild speculation that could be way off the mark.

Strange things are afoot in the hospital, and while they could be the machinations of an outside force, like the Demon Bear from the comics, this would be a big departure for the series, which has previously grounded everything within the world’s pre-established boundaries of mutant powers. Even the Phoenix Force has – thus far – been explained as an extension of Jean Grey’s natural gifts and not the cosmic being depicted in the books. This means it’s entirely possible all the seemingly paranormal activity displayed in the trailer is simply a display of our mutants’ own uncontrolled powers, with particular side-eye toward Dani. Who better to create the illusion of a ‘haunted house’ than someone who can conjure life-like manifestations of your darkest fears?

As an example, take Sam Guthrie and what appears to be a run-in with some very pissed-off miners.

In the comics, Sam’s powers first emerged after a Kentucky coal mine collapsed on himself and another miner. If his origin were altered for the movie, and his ability instead contributed to the deaths of a handful of miners, being confronted by them could appear to be a ghostly encounter or, given what we know about Dani’s powers, it could be his darkest nightmare brought to life by an untrained mutant.

The same goes for the trailer’s first jump scare when Sam is started by a hand enveloped by fire.

It’s not hard to picture people being burned alive in a coal mine and that memory being seared into his brain for Dani to unwittingly find. It’s also not unthinkable that Illyana, unable to control her teleportation ability, accidentally bamfed her way into a washing machine and this is a false scare.

This is to say Dani’s might not be the only power we see at play in the trailer. The otherworldly beings in this shot are arguably the closest thing we see to a traditional haunting, but they could also be the result of Illyana thinning the walls between Earth and an unknown hell dimension.

This shot of Dr. Reyes with claw marks on her face could very well be from an angered Rahne Sinclair.

Even one of the trailer’s earliest moments, a series of gravestones marked only by numbers, may be part of a misdirect.

We’re led to believe, through a series of images, this is a facility were young mutants could be experimented on until they are discarded without so much as a name. And that may indeed be the case. But it may also be the manifestation of the darkest fear of Dr. Cecilia Reyes herself.

In the comics, Dr. Reyes is herself a mutant, with the ability to create force-shields. She is, by nature of both personality and power, a protector. And changing her into a nefarious character would not be the furthest diversion of the X-movies from the source material, but it’s far more likely she’s keeping kids with incredibly dangerous abilities beyond their control secluded for the well-being of themselves and those around them. And it’s as likely as not that a mass grave filled with nameless mutant children is the manifestation of her worst fear should she fail in her endeavor.

Again, this is all the wildest of speculation based on the Marvel comics, which have never been slavishly adapted, and the short trailer, which gave us very little in the way of concrete information. It could be everything is exactly as it’s being presented to us. Dr. Reyes might be more Stryker than Xavier, and the horrors our heroes experience might actually be a malevolent outside force and not simply the unchecked powers of one or more of their own. We might see a literal Demon Bear.

But it also might all be a Mirage.



  • Kyle Cole

    I think this actually looks really good. I can’t wait to see It!

  • MeeGhoulz

    i used to read New Mutants drawn by John Romita Jr! Illyanna looks perfect! And Arya is awesome too! Really liking what I’m seeing, would watch it for them two only…

    • Silhouetters

      Everything else looks like utter crap?
      Yeah, I get your point.

      • MeeGhoulz

        Everything else? Nah, didn’t mind whatever may have bothered you. I liked the characters at the time I read them, so I’ll give it a chance. Haven’t watched Marvel movies since X-men 3, with rare exceptions (first Iron Man, DrStrange). Can’t really take these movies that seriously, so I don’t even bother watching them. This one, though derivative, seem to have nailed the idea of dread of teens realizing they are “different”. Been done before? Sure, but not in the original New Mutants movie ( the one with Jubilee). Like in “Five Girls” with Ron Pearlman as the priest… Ever watched it?

  • Edgar Pinecone

    I wonder what they’ll be doing in regards to Cannoball’s abilities. Especially considering they already gave his powers to Teenage Negasonic Warhead.

    • FromTheAshes21

      Negasonic Teenage Warhead was blasting around like Cannonball? I totally missed that part!

      • Edgar Pinecone

        Yeah, apparently it was something they had to okay with Marvel as well. Marvel got something in return, but I can’t remember for sure what it was. I think it was the rights to use Ego, but I can’t be certain. (And too lazy to Google.) 😉

  • Silhouetters

    This really looks like shit, nothing original; all been done by better movies for sure. Such a disappointment from Fox after the greatness of Logan.

    • Grimphantom

      Yeah….Logan was Soooo Original……..all of the movies that were done over the years and the ones you like comes from a different source that’s already been done before. Also you’re complaining to teaser trailer…….

      • Silhouetters

        Nobody’s talking about originality, Logan was just better than any other comic book movie lately, and this looks like a pile of shit. End of.

        • Grimphantom

          It’s still funny you call it shit when it’s just the teaser.

        • Do something better then we might consider your opinion about this.

          • Silhouetters

            This fucking argument is so dead, come up with a better one and we might consider your reply to me.

        • nrkist

          I think you should give it a shot. You enjoy Logan. I like it too. I’m not head over heels about it, but it’s good. You know why? Because it isn’t drowning in the sea of Marvel mythos and characters…because it mostly never mattered and they are all dead or don’t exist within the conceit of the story.

          That’s what something like this offers. The freedom to be self-contained. They can literally do anything they want with this. Where do One-shots and self-contained mini-series often outshine the source material? Oh yeah…COMICS. Why do you think that is? Because the writer can control the narrative and tell an actual cohesive story rather than placating canon and whatever the current windblows, in whatever cross-comic/comic/movie/comic/interactive shell the story has to be constrained to.

          Was Logan really THAT good?! If it is, ‘that good’, then what chance does anything have to win you over? There’s gonna be A-‘s and B+’s and guilty stylish D’s. I would personally rank Logan a B+, and there is definitely room to try weird stuff.

    • nrkist

      What?! It looks awesome. It’s about the mutant registration acts. What happens to those people? This isn’t canon, but it’s interesting as hell. Fox and Marvel will do something like this?!

      When I heard it was going to be a horror series, I didn’t get it. I totally get it now. I’m stoked.

      It’s not your Dad’s New Mutants ;).

      Edit: It’s genius and borrowing from Carrie and Scanners. Marvel and Fox have some balls.

      Edit2: It seems easy to tie this into Logan if they want an easter egg. The ‘new’ mutants would be the ones that shouldn’t exist anymore. They were all scooped up and killed and otherwise imprisoned in Logan’s future which is why x-23 is important. Nothing good will come for these people, but it plays into Logan. You can’t stop evolution.

  • Jada Maes

    No way it’s going to be as simple as it’s all Mirage. It feels more like we’re finally going to get a realistic take on just how horrifying it can be when the X-gene kicks in. I’m hoping No-Girl pops up somewhere; she’s not part of the first New Mutant lineup, but her fate is the definition of horrific.

  • Brian McNatt

    Reversing this, it could also go the route of everyone thinking it’s Mirage’s powers, only for a third-act twist with Demon Bear.

  • zombie84_41

    I never read the comics, but I am excited as all hell to have a full on horror movie, and they will be making more x-men horror movies. I just hope this will be R. And not some lousy PG_13 crap. X-men is suppose to be R not some boring teen shit.

    • Actually, the vast majority of their stories throughout the decades are not R-rated material. That sort of thing mainly works for specific characters and storylines, like Wolverine, Deadpool, Legion, the New Mutants, ETC. I don’t think an R-rating is necessary for regular X-Men or something like Generation X.

      • zombie84_41

        I will agree with you on Generation X that would be silly if they made that R.

  • guest

    when i first saw this first trailer i was suprised that it didnt really feature any mutant displaying their power/ability.
    theres really nothing there that says any of them are the type of mutants that the brand name consists of.

    • khail19

      because it’s being sold as a horror film first, and an x-men movie second. If you think about it, those scary scenes ARE their mutant powers.

      • guest

        yeah i get that. it just surprises me that the first trailer didnt focus the audience on introducing the basic superhero character idea first.
        im hoping this is in the same mindset as legion as far as mutant powers goes. big step up.

  • Allen Lee

    We finally get a true rated R marvel movie trailer and people still bitch

  • Grither 57

    There are so many great mutant characters that have yet to be introduced in the movies . . . I’m looking at the future with great optimism. Magik is going to blow minds!!

  • Kevin Reynart

    This is all great! I sure am excited for The New Mutants! This movie is going to be amazing!

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