As The New Mutants closes in on its long-awaited release date after falling down a rabbit hole during the Disney/Fox merger, the film’s horror elements have been front and center as director Josh Boone hopes to bring a unique take to the X-Men franchise. However, eagle-eyed fans have noticed what appears to be a same-sex relationship between Maisie Williams‘ Rahne Sinclair and Blu Hunt‘s Danielle Moonstar, and they are correct.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Williams confirms that the X-Men thriller will also push boundaries by featuring a same-sex love story.
“Rahne and Dani have a telepathic connection in the comics, and so we just wanted to extend that in the film and put that within reality,” she explains. “If they really could understand each other on that level, then you’d probably end up falling in love with that person.”
But Williams wants to make it clear that the relationship isn’t a “gimmick” and that it’s an unspoken bond that occurs naturally and is quietly accepted by the other young mutants, adding that none of them label it and “no one really questions it.”
Director Boone also chimed in that the love story is “sort of the spine and focus of some of the character-driven stuff in the film,” and Rahne’s backstory of being raised by a reverend who was terrified of his daughter’s mutant abilities encouraged Boone and screenwriter Knate Lee to pull from their shared conservative upbringing in Virginia.
“I remember watching My Own Private Island  when I was 11 or 12 and being like, ‘Maybe the people at church are wrong about gay people.’ I always felt a bit like an outsider. I’ve certainly had my head put in the toilet when I was a kid at school, had bullies chase us around, had oppressive things that I guess just made me more sensitive to things like that. So, we like to try to push anything [like Rahne and Dani] forward as much as possible.”
Since it’s inception, the X-Men have served as an allegory for civil rights, so Boone has comic book history on his side when it comes to mixing mutants and social commentary.