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Film and TV

X-Men spin-off The New Mutants includes beautiful tributes to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s iconic queer witches

Nick Duffy August 31, 2020
Ellie Lockhart academic

Rahne Sinclair and Dani Moonstar, played by Maisie Williams and Blu Hunt in The New Mutants. The pair play a queer couple in the new film

New X-Men spin-off The New Mutants, which is centred on a pivotal queer relationship, includes some poignant tributes to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The long-delayed film prominently features a gang of powerful teenage mutants locked up together in a secure facility, including the newly-discovered Dani Moonstar and the lycanthrope Rahne Sinclair, played by Blu Hunt and Maisie Williams.

The New Mutants pays a loving tribute to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

While The New Mutants pushes forward representation in the superhero genre by putting Dani and Rahne’s relationship front-and-centre, it also takes time to pay tribute to one of the first staples of the fantasy genre to do so – Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The mutants are seen watching old episodes of Buffy throughout the film – with particular loving attention paid to a clip of Willow and Tara‘s heart-wrenching first on-screen kiss in season five episode “The Body”.

X-Men spin-off The New Mutants featured a Buffy tribute
X-Men spin-off The New Mutants featured a Buffy tribute

The moment neatly parallels the evolving relationship between Dani and Raine, who are very much a couple by the end of the film.

It’s a fitting tribute for a film that owes much of its DNA to Buffy, revolving around its own Scooby Gang of dysfunctional teens.

Writer-director Josh Boone has acknowledged the parallels, explaining of his motivations to Bleeding Cool: “I really did want to make a teen movie like a John Hughes movie, like a Breakfast Club.

“I wanted to do what Joss Whedon did [20] years ago in Buffy and have a gay romance, a real gay romance. It worked so organically with the material in the comic and the way these girls interacted.

“We were just trying to get all the things in that we love that we didn’t see in movies anymore, that we felt like a superhero movie could do.”

The outlet notes that the show’s tributes to Buffy take things full circle, given Buffy‘s infamous season six ‘Dark Willow’ storyline was in no small part inspired by the Dark Phoenix X-Men comics.

Maisie Williams said it’s ‘really important’ queer relationships are represented in film.

Former Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams has previously opened up about the powerful on-screen romance, saying she was “excited” to be playing a queer superhero.

Speaking on a panel at Comic Con @ Home, Williams said it is essential that queer love stories are allowed to play out on screen.

“It was really wonderful to be able to see a relationship look like this,” she said.

“In the typically quite masculine world of superheroes, it was just lovely to see these two fragile women who just protect one another and bring light out in each other, but I’m glad that the fans are so excited for it because I think it’s realty important to see relationships like this.”

She continued: “I think at the heart of it is just this really lovely love story. It just brings it back to reality, I think.”

More: buffy the vampire slayer, Josh boone, Joss Whedon, Maisie Williams, The New Mutants, Willow and Tara

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