It's been almost six years since The New Mutants was first announced by then-studio 20th Century Fox as the next installment of the X-Men franchise. At the time, it was a movie cast with some of the hottest up-and-comers of the era, including Maisie Williams, Anna Taylor-Joy, and Charlie Heaton. But then the delays began. Now, finally, the film is about to arrive in theaters. Here's how to watch The New Mutants for those who are not sure how this is going to work.
Originally scheduled to come out in the "New Horror" corridor of April in 2018, the film was pushed back to February of 2019, to move it out of the way of Deadpool 2, and then back to August of 2019. Then, talks with Disney to buy out Fox forced another delay. The New Mutants finally landed a new date of April 2020. And then the coronavirus pandemic hit.
At this point, Disney needs to get New Mutants released because, until it does, it cannot begin the mandated waiting period between the last Fox film and the first introduction of the X-Men into the MCU. But if Disney is so bound and determined to release New Mutants, why not put it on Disney+ like Artemis Fowl?
The short answer is, it can't. When Disney agreed to buy out Fox, it promised all Fox's finished features would get their planned theatrical releases, and not be tossed off via streaming or video-on-demand. It seemed an easy promise at the time, until theaters closed and stayed that way for months.
Moreover, Fox already had a contract in place for first rights for streaming and TV, with HBO and HBO Now. So New Mutants would need to go to HBO Max before it can go to Disney+.
As of the middle of August, the movie is set to come out on Aug. 28, 2020. But how are fans going to be able to see it? Well, you can mask up and go to your local theater, if it's open (and if you're OK with the health risks). Though AMC is ballyhooing an Aug. 20 reopening across America, this will vary state by state and sometimes county by county, depending on local pandemic conditions. New Mutants will also be available by PVOD (Paid Video On Demand), after a short waiting period, on FandangoNow and other rental services.
Once New Mutants hits theatres, Disney will have done its due diligence. And once it's out, the clock starts on the move to streaming on HBO Max, which traditionally would be 90 days following the theatrical premiere. With Universal's deal with AMC for a 17-day theatrical window before moving to home streaming, Warner could negotiate it to be as short as a couple of weeks, and then fans will finally be able to see it from the comfort and safety of their homes.
The New Mutants opens in theaters on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020.