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Behold the Smiley Men, the petrifying villains that will terrorise our teen heroes in Marvel’s The New Mutants.
The X-Men universe spin-off is one of recent years’ most doomed productions. Originally slated for release on April 18, 2018, Josh Boone’s ‘horror’ twist on the superhero genre has been languishing in calendar hell ever since, enduring delay after delay.
It was finally due to hit the big screen in April this year – unfortunately, the outbreak led to another indefinite push-back, along with many other films. For now, we’ve been given a proper look at its horrifying group of antagonists.
In new images courtesy of Cinefex, the unmasked Smiley Men are revealed. With no eyes and massive, sharp-toothed jaws, they’re almost reminiscent of a Doctor Who-esque monster (they’re certainly as scary as the Weeping Angels).
However, other images also tease an epic showdown between a Soulsword-wielding Magik (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Demon Bear, the supernatural beast in Limbo, a Hell Dimension that plays a huge role in the comics.
Discussing what it was like to take on the role, Taylor-Joy told Screen Rant:
When I first got the role I went into a comic book store and read all the comics, I was so excited about it, and I think Josh has done an incredible job of making sure that fans won’t be disappointed while still keeping it firmly rooted in the real world.
So it’s a very interesting mix, but he’s a super fan, so you kind of feel-good having someone that has such a deep respect for these characters at, you know, as your director.
The official synopsis for The New Mutants reads: ‘Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.’
It’s an absolutely stacked cast; alongside Taylor-Joy, who starred in Split and The Witch, there’s Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams and Stranger Things‘ Charlie Heaton, as well as Alice Braga, Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga.
So when can we expect to see this weird and wonderful superhero entry? Well, there’s some speculation it could drop on Disney+, like Artemis Fowl, or Hulu in the face of seemingly eternal delays.
However, it’s a very tricky game to play; not only does dropping a film haphazardly on VOD hurt cinemas prior to re-opening, but PG-13 (12A for us in the UK) horror films tend to over-perform at the box office – for example, last year’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark grossed more than $105 million off of a $25 million budget.
That said, if The New Mutants dropped tomorrow with a £19.99 price-tag, I’d buy it immediately. Think on, Disney.
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