Josh Boone, the director of the hit YA romance "The Fault in Our Stars," is returning to the realm of teenage angst -- this time with a superhero twist.
Twentieth Century Fox has enlisted the 36-year-old filmmaker to co-write and direct "The New Mutants," a youth-oriented spinoff of the blockbuster "X-Men" franchise, a studio spokesperson confirmed to The Times. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.
Based on characters that first appeared in Marvel Comics pages in the 1980s, "The New Mutants" will introduce the next generation of heroes grappling with special powers -- and, one imagines, the occasional supervillain or shadowy government agency.
Boone, who is to co-write with Knate Gwaltney, demonstrated a deft touch working with up-and-coming actors and connecting with millennial moviegoers with "Fault" last year (also a Fox release). The film starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort grossed more than $300 million worldwide on a slim $12-million budget and received favorable reviews.
The "X-Men" series, meanwhile, has been a big moneymaker for Fox, with its seven movies grossing more than $3 billion worldwide. The studio is working to expand the franchise a la Disney's Marvel cinematic universe, with spinoff "Deadpool," "Gambit" and "Wolverine" films in the pipeline. The next installment of the main story, "X-Men: Apocalypse," is also due next year.
Veteran "X-Men" producer Simon Kinberg, who will reprise his duty on "New Mutants" along with Lauren Shuler Donner, said in a statement about the project, "We're so excited to explore this new part of the 'X-Men' universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters."