Photo: 20th Century Fox
BURBANK, CA–Due to the effects of COVID-19, the long-anticipated New Mutants film has been delayed once again. While it would have released this weekend, Marvel has announced another bold idea to sate fans’ appetites for the time being. Hoping to make up for the anticipated modest success of New Mutants, Marvel has announced the next X-Men title on its docket: Old Mutants.
Old Mutants is expected to feature 80-year-old actors Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen reprising their roles as elderly mutants Professor X and Magneto, respectively. However, rather than an epic conflict of good and evil featuring the ensemble cast of other X-Men films, this film will focus solely on mutants who are old and their old-people activities. Set years after the original X-Men trilogy, the story will follow Charles and Erik both in wheelchairs, living in a nursing home, and occasionally venturing out to the park for a rousing game of chess.
“The X-Men franchise is a rich one full of diverse stories and characters,” explained Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “Not every movie needs to be about the young, hip X-Men fighting to save the whole world. We’re at a place where we want to tell some smaller-scale stories, bring in more age diversity, and really show the human frailties of the characters too. We think Old Mutants is the answer.”
The premise of Old Mutants will present new opportunities for storytelling. For example, due to both old men lacking teeth and being hard of hearing, they will communicate not by speaking but entirely through Charles’s telepathic powers. And sometimes, on particularly slow days, Erik will prank Charles by moving his metal wheelchair around, with or without him in it. Antics ensue.
The film is also expected to feature cameos from Cable (who is actually much younger than the other two) and Wolverine (who is actually much older). Hugh Jackman is expected to reprise his role.
To allow as much as possible for natural aging, Old Mutants is currently being slated for a 2031 release. At the current rate, though, it is still expected to release before New Mutants.