With so many delays, director Josh Boone and his cast had this special gift for the fans patiently waiting.

Some new footage for The New Mutants.

With actors Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Blu Hunt, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, and Alice Braga joining director Josh Boone virtually for a Comic-Con panel Thursday, the YA horror spin-off for the X-Men dropped a fresh look at the movie that, with any luck, will finally hit screens in 2020 after years of delays.

The studio had some fun with the fact that there had been so many delays: The panel began with an opening sequence that ran through all the many release dates the movie once had. Currently, The New Mutants is scheduled for release Aug. 28, and the panel joked with an accompanying graphic, "Fingers crossed."

The footage began with a special gift from the cast and crew to the fans who've been so patiently awaiting its release: the opening three-and-a-half minutes of the movie. (Skip to the 24:11 mark in the video for the panel to watch.)

The New Mutants, a leftover from the heyday of Fox's X-Men cinematic universe, sees five teen mutants held at a secret government facility against their will: Illyana (Taylor-Joy), Rahne (Williams), Sam (Heaton), Bobby (Zaga), and new arrival Dani (Hunt). It's there where each begins facing their own worst fears in the form of terrifying apparitions, including one giant Demon Bear — an element from Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz's comic book arc on which the film is based. (Sienkiewicz even made a surprise appearance during the panel.)

The sequence begins with Dani, who wakes from her sleep to find her home on a Native American reservation under attack by… something. "Inside every person are two bears, forever locked in combat for your soul," she says in voice-over. "One bear is all things good: compassion, love, trust. The other is all things evil: fear, shame, and self-destruction." In this case, that bad bear is real. After rushing through the woods away from this monstrosity, she awakes in a hospital.

The New Mutants
Credit: Claire Folger/20th Century Studios

"All of you have killed someone," Braga, playing a mysterious doctor, Celia Reyes, explains. "If you weren't here, you'd be in prison or worse. New mutants are dangerous." The footage then turns into a trailer to showcase each of the mutants' unique abilities and the horrors they must fight through to survive this place.

At the same time the panel screened online, Disney announced a new reshuffling of release dates, including the indefinite delay of its live-action Mulan. Surprisingly, The New Mutants wasn't mentioned. Perhaps there is some hope yet.

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