This is going to seem very familiar to you, especially if you were reading us back in April of last year, but it appears that the rumored casting for the New Mutants from back then aren’t rumors any more. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy have been cast in the film.
First off, Game of Thrones actress Williams will indeed play Rahne Sinclair/ Wolfsbane. Wolfsbane is a Scottish mutant whose power is lycanthropy.
As I said back in April, her becoming a werewolf doesn’t seem like the most exciting mutant power, the character was fleshed out by having the character be a devout Christian and view her powers as a curse from the Devil. This was exacerbated by her local pastor essentially trying to burn her at the stake because of it. Making it worse, the pastor acted as her foster father, but in reality was her biological father. That’s a film in and of itself right there.
Next, Anya Taylor-Joy, who is got great notices for her work in The Witch and Split, is bringing the mutant Magik to the big screen. Once again, Magik is Illyana Rasputin, sister of Peter Rasputin, a.k.a. Colossus, who was kidnapped and raised from a child up to a teen in a the hellish Limbo by the demonic Belasco. While there, she is trained in both white and black magic, and has her mutant powers of teleportation develop. Eventually, she returns to Earth ten years older than when she left, even though on Earth the trip was instantaneous.
That is just scratching the surface of the character’s history. I would go more into it, bit I doubt that most or any of it would be covered in the film.
And, yes, Taylor-Joy is going from playing a character plagued by witches to playing a witch herself. Consider New Mutants the sequel to The Witch if you want.
Casting is also underway for the roles of Cannonball, Sunspot (who has already made an appearance in the X-Men film mythos with vastly different powers than he has in the comics) and Mirage. The studio is looking for “ethnically appropriate” actor to play the Brazilian Sunspot and the Native American Mirage. Warlock will also be part of the film, but being a robotic alien technomorph, he’ll probably be wholly CGI. And I’ll say it right now, if they pull the character off as well as they did in the comics, you’ll have the X-Universe’s version of Groot. I guarantee it.
One piece of casting that is as yet unknown is James McAvoy’s return as Professor Xavier. Taylor-Joy seemed to believe that he would be in the film as recently as January, but when /Film added his name while reporting Williams’ and Taylor-Joy’s casting, Fox called to “debunk” that information. What could that mean? Anything. They could be negotiating with McAvoy and don’t want to ruin it. It could be Patrick Stewart in the role, not McAvoy. It could mean the part will be recast with an entirely new actor. Or it could mean that the character isn’t even in the film to begin with.
More on this as it develops.