Major star almost played Warlock in The New Mutants

Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton and Anya Taylor-Joy in “The New Mutants.” © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Maisie Williams, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton and Anya Taylor-Joy in “The New Mutants.” © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation /

Alien shapeshifter Warlock was nearly in The New Mutants and comedian, Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen was favored to play him.

It’s taken years but the director of The New Mutants, Josh Boone, can breathe a sigh of relief that his film will finally be seen. And it’ll be shown on massive screens in theaters throughout the world, not through streaming via Disney+ despite rumors.

Still, that said, Boone didn’t get everything he wanted for his movie even though he had time to perfect it between 2018 and today. Nerdist reported that there is one character who didn’t make the cut and Boone approached a big name about the role.

Sacha Baron Cohen was offered the part of Warlock, a strange shape-shifting alien who was an original member of the spry, replacement X-team. Not a mutant, he was a robotic-looking creature seeking a safe haven on Earth that referred to himself as “self” rather than “I” or “me.”

Cohen, known primarily for his comedic work in mockumentaries Borat and Bruno, seems like the guy who could pull off a part like that, on paper. He has the right mix of dramatic chops too, as his work with Tim Burton in films such as Sweeney Todd can attest.

Warlock, according to Nerdist, was in early drafts of the script but ultimately cut out completely. In a twist, budget and the plot – based on the “Demon Bear Saga” – are to blame.

Boone only had enough money for one CG creature and he was left to choose between the Demon Bear or Warlock. In the end, the bear won, dashing hopes of Cohen doing in New Mutants what Andy Serkis did for Gollum.

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Not all was lost. There’s always the next one, Boone figured, and he is pulling for a trilogy. He revealed plans for a sequel in March, around the time New Mutants was supposed to hit theaters this year.

It probably isn’t happening but he knows what characters he’d like to bring in. One is another little-known mutant named Karma. With psionic abilities including mind control, the French-speaking Asian was co-created by Frank Miller and one of Marvel’s first lesbian heroes.

Karma was a founding and senior member of The New Mutants when the group formed in the comics, which makes it shocking she isn’t part of the long-awaited movie.

“Karma was always going to be the villain in the second movie that would be absorbed into the group by the end,” Boone explained to Entertainment Weekly earlier this year.

He added she would’ve been joined by Warlock, no question. “We had always wanted to bring Karma and Warlock into the second one when we couldn’t do it in the first one,” he said.

A “second one” is up in the air. Disney put the X-Men on the shelf for now after acquiring Fox Studios’ assets – and only now adding the library of X-Men films to their streaming service.

The House of Mouse is waiting to reboot the Children of the Atom and incorporate them into the MCU. We don’t know when our next mutant adventure is coming, other than maybe Deadpool 3.

It’s possible New Mutants, if successful, gets that trilogy – putting “Gifted Youngsters” back on the right track as a blockbuster franchise.

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New Mutants’ long, winding road of stops and starts to theaters is scheduled to be mercifully over on Aug. 28.