After suffering countless delays over the past three years, it appears that The New Mutants is gritting its teeth and holding its late August release date - despite the small issue of a global pandemic to contend with.
The long-awaited X-Men spin-off offers a horror take on Marvel's famous super team, as a group of young mutants develop frightening abilities within the confines of a creepy hospital setting.
In recent weeks, we've learnt more about the film than ever before, as director Josh Boone has revealed its connection to the wider X-Men universe and some early sequel plans (don't hold your breath).
This influx of information, paired with recent reports of advanced ticket sales as soon as next week, give us the feeling that New Mutants is finally coming out, although how many people will dare to see it is another matter entirely.
Here's everything we know about New Mutants.
When is The New Mutants released in the UK?
The New Mutants has been continually delayed. Originally set to be released in April 2018, the film was bumped to August 2019, and then moved repeatedly due to various scheduling conflicts as well as events completely out of its control.
At time of writing, New Mutants is due to be released in cinemas on 28th August 2020, announced on the film's official Twitter page along with a very cool new poster.
Fans have been understandably sceptical about whether this release date will actually be met, but signs are pointing to this being final destination for Marvel's spookiest mutants.
Variety reports that Disney has contacted film exhibitors in the US, telling them they can start selling tickets as pre-orders from Tuesday 18th August.
The film will likely utilise an unconventional release strategy, as certain US states and countries still find themselves tightly gripped by COVID-19, while others have less severe outbreaks on their hands.
More like this
The New Mutants had previously been intended to arrive in UK cinemas on 10th April 2020, almost two years since its initial release date. However, the film was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen the temporary closure of most cinemas across Europe.
In a statement, Disney said: “As you know this has been a rapidly evolving situation and [we] wanted to make you aware that we are postponing the releases of Mulan, The New Mutants, and Antlers out of an abundance of caution.
"We truly believe in the moviegoing experience, and we are looking at new potential 2020 release dates to be announced at a later date.”
Why has New Mutants been delayed so many times?
Accounts vary, though some of the earlier delays were apparently caused by reshoots to the movie to make it scarier, as well as finding a good spot in the calendar for fellow X-Men flick Dark Phoenix (in other words, shifting around various movies on the slate).
After 20th Century Fox was acquired by Disney, The New Mutants had to be moved again to prevent it from competing with other major blockbusters from the Mouse House, including movies set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the summer of 2019, Variety reported that the studio was "unimpressed with New Mutants... and believes it has limited box office potential," prompting speculation that it could be scrapped altogether.
However, Disney did eventually find a new date for the movie, planning an April 2020 release that briefly seemed plausible. That was until the coronavirus outbreak escalated into a global pandemic, forcing The New Mutants to move once again.
Fans called for it to be released online via premium video on demand or Disney+, but the studio opted to earmark another theatrical release date instead. Only time will tell if it will be pushed back again...
What is New Mutants about?
A creepy twist on the original comics, The New Mutants follows a group of five young mutants just discovering their powers, who are kept in a strange facility where their own abilities create terrifying challenges to escape.
Director Boone and star Maisie Williams have said that the film will include a same-sex relationship - with Boone claiming there will be "a beautiful love story” told throughout.
Will there be a sequel to New Mutants?
According to director Josh Boone, the New Mutants was initially dreamt up as a trilogy, but hopes of a follow-up are likely to be dashed following Disney's acquisition of the X-Men franchise.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he said: "They were all supposed to be kind of separate horror genre films: the first one’s like a rubber reality horror movie, the second one was supposed to be an alien invasion movie with Warlock, and then the third one was going to take all these elements from the X-Men crossover from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s called ‘Inferno’ to be a kind of supernatural, apocalyptic horror movie. That was the plan."
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has mentioned having plans for the mutant characters, which many speculate will involve a complete reboot and recasting process.
Is there a New Mutants trailer?
There are two! One is from back when the film was supposed to come out in April 2018, and shows off all sorts of creepy goings-on as the New Mutants grow into their abilities.
A second trailer, which features the now abandoned 2020 release date, dropped in January and provides a closer look at the plot. Telepathic mutant Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) arrives at a mysterious hospital, only to discover the staff may not have her best interests at heart...
Who is in the cast of The New Mutants?
The New Mutants features an impressive cast of up and coming stars, many of whom have also appeared in other franchises.
Anya Taylor-Joy (Peaky Blinders) plays Illyana Rasputin/Magik, a major character from the Marvel comic books who has the ability to teleport via portals into a nightmarish limbo dimension. In the comic books, she is the sister of Colossus (last seen in Deadpool 2) and becomes a powerful sorcerer, taking on Doctor Strange in the Avengers vs X-Men storyline.
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams plays mutant hero Wolfsbane, who has powers similar to those of a werewolf and must maintain tight control over them or she risks going feral.
Stranger Things actor Charlie Heaton will also appear as Sam Guthrie, a mutant who can fly at incredible speeds and is invulnerable while doing so, appropriately taking on the moniker of Cannonball.
Fear-based illusionist Danielle Moonstar/Mirage will be played by Blu Hunt, best known for her role on Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals. Meanwhile, Henry Zaga (13 Reasons Why) will take on the role of solar-powered strongman Roberto da Costa aka Sunspot, a character who previously appeared in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past (played by a different actor).
Alice Braga (Queen of the South) portrays the group’s mentor Dr Cecilia Reyes, who has the ability to create a protective force field around her.
How does it tie in with the other X-Men movies?
Initially the film was supposed to be set in the same universe as the X-Men and Deadpool movies with possible crossovers, but whether that’s still the case is unclear as the franchise has changed ownership.
Apparently, the film was set to feature a post-credits scene of Jon Hamm playing classic X-Men villain Mister Sinister, but that plan has been scrapped following the winding down of the X-Men movies with Dark Phoenix.
In an interview with /Film, director Josh Boone revealed that The New Mutants will contain some references to the wider X-Men world, but no cameos or strong links.
He explained: "Yeah, it’s there – they talk about Professor X and those things, but it doesn’t have cameos from anyone or anything like that."
According to him, 20th Century Fox were keen to distance New Mutants from the mainline franchise, after 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse saw negative reviews from many critics.
One connection will probably remain, however, as Taylor-Joy’s character is canonically the sister of metallic X-Man Colossus/Peter Rasputin, played by Daniel Cudmore and Stefan Kapičić in various X-Men and Deadpool movies.
Who were the New Mutants in the comics?
In the original comics the New Mutants were introduced as the new “class” of underage mutants when the original X-Men had completed their training, who studied at Professor Xavier’s School while the more familiar characters dealt with bigger concerns.
Of course, in the end the New Mutants got into all sorts of dangerous (and often fatal) clashes with super-villains and the like anyway, but the story of them being held in a special facility appears to have been invented for the film.
All the characters in the film were core members of the team, though some characters (including the lava-controlling Magma and the, er, super-linguist Doug Ramsay/Cypher) appear to have been left out.
The New Mutants will be released in UK cinemas on the 28th August 2020. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.