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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It's Rumor Time: New Mutants might still get that R rating

Illustration for article titled Its Rumor Time: iNew Mutantsem/em/i might still get that R ratingem/em
Screenshot: New Mutants

Superhero movies have become a genre unto themselves, and, though the standard Marvel template undoubtedly has its pleasures, the fatigue has long since set in. That’s why films like Logan and Deadpool resonate so strongly, because, like them or not, they’re breaking that mold with irreverence, ultraviolence, and, at least in Logan’s case, some real stakes. Josh Boone’s New Mutants looked to be another step in that direction when its first trailer dropped late last year. The Fault In Our Stars director looked to have made an honest-to-goodness horror movie, and fan response was overwhelmingly positive.

Unfortunately, that enthusiasm dimmed when it was revealed the movie would be PG-13, a rating that, despite Boone’s assertion that it’s “probably the hardest PG-13 ever made,” rarely delivers solid scares. The blows kept coming, too, with the film’s release date was pushed from April 2018 to February and then August of 2019. Early reports said the movie didn’t want to square off against Deadpool 2, but it was later revealed that “at least 50 percent of the movie may be reshot” in a push to make the movie “scarier.” That’s...good?

But, in a new interview with Collider, producer Simon Kinberg says the reshoots have yet to happen. While that sounds dispiriting, he added that this means the rating is still in flux.

“It’s the kind of movie that could go R, or it could be a hard PG-13. As I was saying before in terms of subgenres or the genre, it is obviously teased as a horror film, and most horror films these days are R-rated, but it stars a very young cast, so we’ll see. It really is what the movie wants to be. The studio is open to either rating… Traditionally, superhero movies are PG-13 other than Logan and the Deadpool movies, and generally, horror films are R-rated, so we’ll see where this one falls. It is a very scary, edgy movie.”


An R rating seems like the wise move, if only to distinguish New Mutants from the glut of superhero movies oozing through studios. Besides, horror is having a moment right now, and Kinberg’s comments about it starring a “very young cast” seem quaint in the wake of the seismic success of It, which was fronted by kids much, much younger than New Mutants’ Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, and Anya Taylor-Joy.

Speaking of Taylor-Joy, she recently told Collider that the delays would be worth it in the end. “I think we’re making the movie that we set out to make, in the beginning,” she said. “That’s what we’re going to end up delivering to people. It feels like the movie we all signed up to do, which is good.”

Color us cautiously optimistic.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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