Viewers looking to watch The New Mutants on Disney+ will have to wait a bit longer, because HBO Max holds the streaming rights. After years of delays, the film based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name debuted on August 28, 2020. Seeing as The New Mutants was originally a Fox-owned property, there were plans to connect Josh Boone's creation into past X-Men installments. Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox not only affected The New Mutants' release, but it also altered the movie's future.
The New Mutants follows five teenage mutants – Rahne, Illyana, Sam, Dani, and Bobby – that are being held in a secret institution to undergo treatment to rid them of their dangerous powers. The superhero horror project first went into development in 2017 with a planned April 2018 release date. That theatrical debut was then bumped twice to avoid competing against Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix. Following Disney's acquisition of Fox, the release was shuffled again to fit the studios' already packed schedule. Despite rumors, The New Mutants didn't go through reshoots, nor was it retroactively put in a position to fit into the MCU. After one more delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, The New Mutants opened in theaters over two years after its original release date.
Considering the limited theater availability and the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, The New Mutants earned $12.4 million in the United States through the first week of September. Before that, many fans had hoped that Boone's film would skip theaters altogether and stream directly on Disney+ or Hulu, two streaming services under Disney's umbrella. Though that notion gained steam in the last few months, the plan to bypass a New Mutants theatrical release was never on the cards. In addition, the movie won't even be streaming on anything other than HBO Max following its theatrical run due to a longterm contract between Fox and HBO according to The Wrap.
Fox & HBO Still Have A Streaming Deal In Place
Even though The New Mutants was produced and distributed under Disney-owned 20th Century Studios, rival service HBO Max retains the streaming rights. Fox and the premium cable network agreed to a first-run TV rights deal that won't end until 2022. Disney might technically control The New Mutants, but the streaming deal remains in place, meaning HBO and HBO Max get first dibs. The various contracts between Fox and HBO presumably prevented any chance of the movie hitting Disney+ or Hulu rather than theaters.
The New Mutants isn't the first Disney-owned title produced by Fox that will stream on HBO Max before Disney+ or Hulu availability. 2019's Dark Phoenix is currently available through HBO and the network's streaming service despite the fact that previous X-Men films are now included on Disney+. The Brad Pitt-led Ad Astra is also a recent highlight for HBO Max despite that the movie was made under a Disney division. These titles along with The New Mutants will make their way to Disney+ or Hulu eventually, but it's just a matter of when. Even HBO Max subscribers will need to pack some patience since Disney plans to keep The New Mutants in theaters as long as they can.