Director Josh Boone's (The Fault in Our Stars) has locked his Wolfsbane and Magik respectively for the upcoming #NewMutants film. #GameofThrones star Maisie Williams and #TheWitch star Anya Taylor-Joy are joining the #XMen universe and let me tell you why this is the perfect casting.
It has been confirmed that the movie will have a #YoungAdult (YA) tone akin to The Maze Runner, The Divergent Series or The Hunger Games franchise; with the casting of these two very talented actresses and Boone in the director's chair, it seems that we are going to witness the beginning of the Young Adult Comic Book genre and its expansion to other forms of media.
Marvel is, once again, trying to be ahead of the curb by expanding its repertoire to other genres. In this case Freeform's #CloakandDagger, Hulu's #Runaways and now the New Mutants, are all going to be heavily influenced by YA topics and themes like friendship, love, race, relationships within families and friends.
It's a smart move by #Marvel, although a little risky, since the shift of tone might alienate part of the fan base that just wants to see their favorite characters in action but has not time for all that sentimental stuff. Marvel seems to be confident in exploring other type of market, since most of the material produced by Marvel is, more often than not, an instant hit.
Marvel appears aiming to fill the hole left by franchises like the aforementioned The Hunger Games, and believe it or not, The Twiilight Saga and take advantage of the fact that there are no more competition on that area. Teenagers and young adults nowadays need more direction than ever, emotionally and mentally. We are living in some crazy times where finding an identity or being relevant as soon as possible is the top priority. And, perhaps, this new approach might give a voice to some.
This takes me to the main point of the article and how Marvel keeps being a step ahead of everyone in terms of casting the right people for their projects.
Wolfsbane - Maisie Williams
Maisie Williams has done an excellent job portraying Arya Stark in Game of Thrones and her personality fits one aspect of the youth demographic that is bold, reckless and audacious, but still craving for direction. Definitely a great fit for Wolfsbane.
Magik - Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy portrayal of Thomasin in the excellent and underrated The Witch, showed us exactly how a coming of age story needs to be told through the eyes of a young lady being introduced to womanhood. Thomasin is an excellent example of a character that struggles with not only the status quo, but with the values imposed by family. The ultimate battle to find one's identity can be cruel and traumatic, but it's a decision that ultimately has to be made. And Magik is one of the most complex characters in the roster of the X-Men. There is no better actress to bring this complexity to the silver screen than Taylor-Joy.
The YA fiction might not be for everyone, but that's the whole point. In entertainment, being relevant is key to guarantee the survival of a genre. By mixing the super hero genre with others, will guarantee its relevancy for years to come. The super hero genre is more popular than ever, and it doesn't seem to slow down anytime soon. But this doesn't mean it can't find ways to improve itself.
#Deadpool showed us that R-Rated films can be fun and profitable and #Logan proved that drama can be both emotional and entertaining. New generations will be introduced to comic book characters that might have never heard of, but the direction taken by these properties will be an all too familiar path of emotion and the quest of identity that these young adults will be able to relate to, and at the same time will have a blast.
Will YA films and TV shows be the future of the super hero genre? Who knows. But, I for one, appreciate the risk Marvel is taking with these properties. And just by doing this, Marvel is already sending a message to these young audiences: don't be afraid of trying.
Update: As per director Josh Boone:
We are making a full-fledged horror movie set within the X-Men universe. There are no costumes. There are no super-villains. We’re trying to do something very, very different.
A horror film? That's an interesting turn of events. Even then, the YA approach still could be achieved through the resent casting of these young ladies, especially Anya Taylor-Joy that surprised everyone in the criminally underrated The Witch and has experienced with the horror genre. And Maisie Williams, who can be as dark as any characters within the Game of Thrones lore. This movie just became a lot more interesting indeed.
Update #2: New Mutants is becoming one of the most anticipated movies of next year!
According to THR, Charlie Heaton of Stranger Things has joined the film to play Cannonball, aka Sam Guthrie. His mutant ability allows him to propel himself from through the air at high speed and be invulnerable while he’s in flight.
#StrangerThings is a great example of how teenage angst can work successfully with horror tropes. Great casting choice and one that makes sense with the direction this movie wants to for.
New Mutants is scheduled to arrive in theaters on April 13, 2018.
What say you, dear reader? Do you like this casting choices? Do you think is a good idea to combine the super hero genre with Young Adult Fiction and horror elements? Let us know in the comments!