“The New Mutants”, the latest production from the X-Men firm, arrives today on Disney+! Here are 5 anecdotes about this film worn in particular by Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”).
An X-Men with haunted house sauce
In 2016, Fox announced that it was working on an adaptation of the comics The New Mutantsheaded by producer Simon Kinberg and directed by Josh Boone, an X-men spin-off aimed at a young adult audience. In the comics, The Five New Mutants are formed by Charles Xavier to save the world. In the movie version, they are locked up in a psychiatric hospital where very strange things are happening… The will of the studios is quite clear from the start: Fox wants to make some “a haunted house movie” (prohibited for children under 13). At that time, there is even talk of a horror trilogy. The filming, with Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor Joy (Split) or Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), debuted in 2017.
Game of Thrones and X-Men
Maisie Williams is the 5th star of Game Of Thrones to play in the X-Men saga after Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister and Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Ed Skrein (Daario Naharis and Ajax in Deadpool (2016)), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark and Jean Gray in X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2016) and Richard E. Grant (Izembaro and Dr. Zander Rice in Logan (2017).
As the film takes place almost entirely in Milbury Hospital, the feeling of claustrophobia, already present in the script, had to be palpable and the production sought to find this stifling atmosphere in the filming locations. Luckily, she unearthed an abandoned medical center in New England, consisting of several buildings, which she was able to strip down, clean and use. “When we got there, the paint was peeling and there was rubble all over the place,” notes production designer Molly Hughes. “It was a fascinating place and we thought it corresponded perfectly to what we were looking for. Josh Boone and Knate Lee wanted, from the start, to give a dimension of Victorian Gothic tale to this intrigue. This kind of red brick institution from the beginning of the 20th century, with a disturbing look, was what we needed“. The hospital is a character in its own right in the film and the fact of being in a real setting adds to the feeling of dread that emanates from the place. Molly Hughes was inspired by several photo books on d old asylums for the decorations.
From Lynch to mutants
Josh Boone is a big fan of Peter Deming, which notably lit David Lynch’s Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks and Sam Raimi’s Down to Hell. Suffice to say that he was delighted that the director of photography agreed to provide the lighting for his film. “Peter strikes the right balance between realism and stylization”says the director. “We wanted this film to focus on the relationships between the characters and to be accessible to as many people as possible, we were convinced that Peter would sign a very beautiful picture.” If the director of photography initially thought that The New Mutants would be filmed in the studio, he was delighted to learn that the shooting would take place on real sets. “We had all these buildings that we were able to turn into a set. We could really do what we wanted, use any building according to our needs, make adjustments or completely break and rebuild.”
Create the Demon Bear
The demon bear, from the comics, is emblematic of the many obstacles that Dani Moonstar must overcome. “When she has a nightmare, Dani, without knowing it, wakes up the bear which grows bigger and bigger until it falls into reality and becomes a monster”notes Josh Boone. “It had to be so gigantic that it completely filled your field of vision.” As Peter Deming points out, it was a real challenge to film a bear over 10m tall which, in reality, is virtual: “In the very last scenes, which take place in and around the hospital chapel, the protagonist is a huge creature who, of course, is absent from the set!” For the scenes bringing together the mutants and the bear, the actors had to play in front of a very refined metal structure with shiny eyes.