new mutants team

New Mutants/20th Century Studios

‘New Mutants’ creator distances himself from X-Men movie

Bob McLeod isn’t happy with the film’s whitewashed casting.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

The situation around the New Mutants movie keeps going from bad to worse, with one of the original creators now publicly speaking out against the film. Bob McLeod—a prolific Marvel/DC artist who co-created the New Mutants team with iconic X-Men writer Chris Claremont—took to Facebook to call out the film’s whitewashed casting, along with its disrespectful misspelling of his name in the credits.

McLeod writes that he was initially excited to hear about the New Mutants adaptation. A lot of director Josh Boone’s ideas were different from McLeod and Claremont’s vision for the characters, but it’s fairly typical for Hollywood adaptations to alter the source material, especially during the complicated process of casting real-life actors to embody comic book superheroes. However, McLeod drew the line at Boone’s controversial casting of a light-skinned actor as the Brazilian character Roberto “Sunspot” da Costa, a choice that Boone clumsily defended in the face of widespread criticism.

“I was very disappointed that Roberto isn’t short and dark-skinned,” writes McLeod, not mincing his words. “Yet another example of Hollywood white-washing. There’s just no excuse. So basically, #JoshBoone erased everything I contributed to the way the characters look.”

Now the movie is out, he also noticed one final slight to his legacy with the New Mutants: “apparently they’ve credited someone named Bob Macleod as co-creator.” The film actually misspelled McLeod’s name on-screen. Another awkward and easily-avoided mistake in a film that’s already getting bad reviews, and is infamous for its behind-the-scenes creative conflicts.

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