New Mutants Was Inspired By Horror Classics, Director Says

New Mutants has had a strange, winding road to theaters–but the wait is nearly over. The movie is definitely, for-real coming to theaters (or drive-ins, depending on where you’re at) this Friday, August 28.

Sure, it’s a superhero movie–but more than that, it’s a horror movie. In fact, just how horrific it is has been a matter of some intense speculation as the delays wore on. The movie was never put through reshoots–a matter director Josh Boone was quick to clarify during a virtual press junket for the film. But balancing the tone and the genre was less challenging than you might imagine. In fact, Boone and the cast had some pretty clear inspiration outside of the cape-and-cowl bubble.

“I was trying to give kids a Breakfast Club for today, but also had a real Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors kind of energy injected into it,” Boone explained in an interview with GameSpot.

This was a sentiment Blu Hunt, who plays Dani Moonstar, was quick to echo. “I love scary movies–it’s really my favorite genre,” she explained. “Nightmare on Elm Street is really such a clear inspiration.” She went on to elaborate that while they may not be directly connected to the film itself, she spent a considerable amount of time looking at movies by Sam Raimi for inspiration for Dani. “I spent a lot of time watching horror movies over and over again to see what actors did to act scared–I watched Drag Me To Hell a lot, and we all watched Evil Dead together. Just as an actor, watching those really crazy female performances was an inspiration.”

But not everyone in New Mutants came to the project already a fan of horror classics. Henry Zaga, who plays Roberto De Costa AKA Sunspot, admitted he’d never seen Nightmare On Elm Street prior to watching it with the cast. “The movies I grew up with were like, Scream and The Goonies,” Zaga said. “I think there are elements of those in here, too. Josh [Boone] loves them and draws a lot from them–we even have a moment that is a homage to Psycho. He loves to weave in those little hints and moments.”

A clear love of horror will no doubt play a large part in Boone’s upcoming project, a TV adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, which is set to debut on CBS All-Access on December 17.

New Mutants is headed for theaters, both traditional and drive-in, for real this time, Friday, August 28.

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