’13 Reasons Why,’ ‘Stranger Things’ Stars Take On Horror-Themed X-Men Movie

New Mutants, Marvel’s horror-thriller spinoff of the X-Men universe, is currently in the process of recruiting young actors for it’s five-person squad of main protagonists. Among several other big names, it has secured two extremely well-known Netflix originals stars: Henry Zaga, the boy who plays Brad on 13 Reasons Why and Charlie Heaton, who plays Jonathan Byers on Stranger Things.

The idea behind New Mutants is simple: it is a story about a group of superheroes in training. The franchise eventually introduces Deadpool, and the opportunity for a tie-in to one of their most successful films ever is more than likely one of the reasons why Marvel chose to adapt the comic. Deadpool’s introduction comes later in the story, though, and it begins with five young mutants and their trainer, who is to be played by Rosario Dawson.

Henry Zaga as Sunspot

Variety reports Zaga will take on the role of a young mutant named “Sunspot,” a Brazillian ladies’ man who has the power to absorb the sun’s light and convert it into super-human strength.

Fans of the X-Men films may remember Adan Canto’s portrayal of Sunspot from the 2014 movie X-Men: Days of Future Past. Zaga will try to one-up him, though, and it looks like he just might be able to.

First of all, Zaga is actually Brazillian, like the character. It may not actually help his ability to portray Sunspot convincingly, but aficionados of the genre will be happy to see that the people behind New Mutants are paying so much attention to the details that will keep the movie as close as possible to the source material.

Secondly, and more importantly, Zaga’s experience with 13 Reasons Why shows us he excels at taking on this kind of role. Not only has Zaga demonstrated that he can be very suave indeed (an important part of Sunspot’s personality), but he has shown that he can capture the confused yet confident teenage angst that is one of the reasons 13 Reasons Why was so distinct. That same angst is also a very important part of New Mutants, which is unlike a traditional superhero movie in that is does not involve any villains but instead focuses on the internal battles the teenage mutants face growing up with super-human powers.

Charlie Heaton as Cannonball

The Hollywood Reporter writes that Heaton will step into the role of “Cannonball,” a mutant whose power is to launch himself into the air and fly at breakneck speed while surrounded by a force-field. Just like Heaton’s character on Stranger Things, Cannonball is from a rural area and values hard work.

Cannonball’s country upbringing is not the only thing about the role Heaton’s gig on Stranger Things primed him for, though. Just like Jonathan Byers on Stranger Things, Cannonball is a born leader and acts as the defacto father figure to many of his peers, including Sunspot.

Like Zaga, Heaton will have to capture a palpable air of teenage angst for New Mutants, something that he did more than adequately on Stranger Things.

Agsty teenager actor
When it comes to portraying a brooding adolescent, Heaton clearly knows what he's doing. [Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]

Besides Zaga’s Sunspot and Heaton’s Cannonball, the core group will comprise of Magik, played by Split star Anya Taylor-Joy, Wolfsbane, played by Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, and one more as-of-yet unknown mutant.

As Gizmodo points out, the X-Men-related films of Marvel’s cinematic universe has generally proven to be some of the best superhero movies ever to grace the screen. With such a noteworthy cast already being assembled for New Mutants, it looks like that trend may be ready to continue.

Although the fifth mutant of the group is not confirmed, it seems likely given the source material that it will be Karma, a 19-year-old Vietnamese girl who can mentally possess people. Who do you think would be a good casting choice for the role? Make yourself heard in the comments section below!

[Featured Image by Yogysic/iStock]