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Why The Cast Of The New Mutants Looks So Familiar

X-Men spinoff The New Mutants had already been delayed several times when coronavirus arrived and brought everything to a grinding halt, a fact that Disney (which came into possession of the superhero horror flick when it acquired Fox) has been more than willing to poke fun at — the teaser shown during the virtual Comic-Con@Home 2020 ended with the words "In theaters August 28, 2020... fingers crossed." Josh Boone's film was originally supposed to drop in April 2018, but it was bounced around in the months and years that followed amid rumors of large-scale reshoots. Boone later revealed that there were no such reshoots and that the version chosen for theatrical release was indeed his final cut, so why has The New Mutants been under wraps for so long?

Sources say that Boone's film spent so much time on the back burner because Fox didn't want it to clash with its other big releases, namely Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Now that those films are behind us (the less said about Dark Phoenix, the better) and cineplexes are opening their doors again, it's finally time for The New Mutants to take center stage. A spate of last-minute promotional material has fans pumped for the first superhero film of the COVID-19 era, even though some of the principal cast members still remain a mystery. There are a couple of unknowns in The New Mutants, yet they look oddly familiar. Where have we seen these kids before, exactly?

Anya Taylor-Joy (Illyana Rasputin, a.k.a Magik)

Anya Taylor-Joy's path to Hollywood began when she was flagged down by a stranger in London aged 16. The Miami-born star got quite the shock when a mysterious black car started tailing her, panicking to the point that she picked up her dog and started running. "I thought 'Oh s***, this is the end,'" she told Style magazine (via the Daily Mail). It turned out not to be the end, but the beginning of something huge — the person in the car was veteran modeling agent Sarah Doukas, the woman who launched the careers of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne. Taylor-Joy was signed to a contract the next day, and before long she was rubbing elbows with acting agents, too.

Taylor-Joy jumped in at the deep end with her acting career, taking on the lead role in her first film. The newcomer was widely praised for her performance as a Puritan girl in The Witch (2015), a New England-set Gothic horror that blew the critics away. She cemented herself as an exciting new talent the following year when she appeared in sci-fi slasher Morgan; college-age Barack Obama biopic Barry (she played the future president's girlfriend); and M. Night Shyamalan's surprise superhero sequel, Split. She would reprise the latter role in 2019's Glass, by which point her work on The New Mutants was already done and dusted. Fans of British drama will also recognize Taylor-Joy from her roles in The Miniaturist and Peaky Blinders.

Maisie Williams (Rahne Sinclair, a.k.a Wolfsbane)

Chances are you already know where you've seen Maisie Williams before, but in case you've been living under a rock this past decade, she starred as Arya Stark in the HBO fantasy series Game of ThronesArya was her very first role and the one she'll likely be best remembered for, but it wasn't the first part she went for — she was almost cast in 2010's Nanny McPhee Returns. "I didn't get the part but did get down to the final two," Williams told Winter Is Coming. "At the time I was really disappointed but I now realize that I did well to get that far." Losing out on that role almost made her skip an upcoming audition for a show called Game of Thrones (her class was going on a field trip to a farm that day), but she decided to go for it anyway and the rest is history.

Williams' life was pretty much consumed by Game of Thrones from the moment it became a hit (her mother chose to pull her out of school to concentrate on the acting thing full-time), but she still found time to work on other projects during its eight-season run. She appeared in British shows like The Secret of Crickley Hall and Doctor Who, and she began making her mark in feature films with lead roles in period mystery piece The Falling (2014)sci-fi thriller iBoy (2017), and adventure comedy Then Came You (2018).

Charlie Heaton (Samuel Guthrie, a.k.a Cannonball)

Like his New Mutants co-star Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton rose to prominence after landing a part in a TV show that quickly blew up. He's portrayed Jonathan Byers on Netflix hit Stranger Things since the show's first season, though unlike Williams, he had a number of credits to his name prior to his big breakthrough. He cut his teeth on British TV dramas DCI Banks, Vera, and Casualty before making the move to feature films in 2015, playing a drug dealer in gangster flick Rise of the Footsoldier Part II. The Yorkshire native appeared in gritty indie film Urban and The Shed Crew that same year, and then it was off to Hollywood.

He had to rough it a little to begin with, but before long Heaton was walking red carpets. "I had this crazy trajectory," he told GQ. "I went from literally living in a hostel in L.A. at the beginning of 2015 to shooting Stranger Things at the end of 2015... I had this turbulent, crazy year, and then the show came out in 2016." He appeared alongside Naomi Watts in psychological thriller Shut In that same year, and in 2017 he filmed his scenes as Marvel mutant Samuel Guthrie (a.k.a Cannonball). He's veered away from all things supernatural since then, fine-tuning his acting chops with turns in addiction drama No Future (2020) and The Souvenir: Part II, a role that was 99 percent improv.

Blu Hunt (Danielle Moonstar, a.k.a Mirage)

Blu Hunt wasn't very well known when she landed the part of mutant Danielle Moonstar (a.k.a Mirage), but she wasn't exactly plucked from obscurity, either. Hunt (who is of Lakota ancestry) began working on a web series when she moved to L.A., but she didn't have to wait long for her first mainstream role. In 2017, The CW snapped her up to play Inadu — a powerful Native American witch better known by the name The Hollow — in Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, which is where you may know her from. Hunt went straight into The New Mutants from there, but she's played a number of other roles since filming the X-Men movie.

In 2019, Hunt appeared in the debut episode of Cobie Smulders crime drama Stumptown, which scored raved reviews during its first season. The same cannot be said for Hunt's next show, the Netflix flop Another Life. On that series, she stars as August Catawnee, lead engineer aboard the spaceship Salvare. Hunt does her best, but the show "lacks the distinctive spark necessary to set it apart from the array of stories it aspires to be," according to Rotten Tomatoes. Another Life has a pretty damning 6 percent score on the Tomatometer, but Hunt is happy so long as she can continue to represent Native Americans onscreen. "[It's] about opening doors so that more and more young people from the reservation can be a part of things now," she told WWD.

Henry Zaga (Roberto da Costa, a.k.a Sunspot)

Henry Zaga made his debut in 2015 when he appeared in an episode of the short-lived procedural The Mysteries of Laura. It was just a one-off appearance, but he was destined for bigger things anyway — soon after, the up-and-comer landed the role of Josh Diaz in Teen Wolf, cementing his spot among the ranks of Hollywood's newest teen heartthrobs. Zaga made his big-screen bow the following year with a role in Netflix's XOXO, an ensemble film about the interconnecting lives of six strangers. He popped up in former drug dealer Angie Wang's supposedly biographical debut feature MDMA in 2017, though that would be largely overshadowed by his role in another Netflix production — he played Tony's boyfriend Brad in the first season of 13 Reasons Why.

Like his New Mutants co-stars, Zaga has worked on numerous other projects since he finished shooting the Marvel film, seemingly happy to move from teen drama to teen drama. He went on to play Jake in Hulu miniseries Looking for Alaska and then portrayed Luka in 13 episodes of the Netflix show Trinkets, about three friends who meet at Shoplifters Anonymous. For Zaga, it's about time people saw him in a new environment, and that's where The New Mutants comes in"I'm bursting with excitement for this movie to come out," he told Chuck Load of Comics in 2019. "The movie is so special and we all loved making it."

Alice Braga (Dr. Cecilia Reyes)

Unlike the youngsters under her supposed care, Alice Braga (Dr. Cecilia Reyes in The New Mutants) has been around for some time. She made her film debut as Angelica in critical darling City of God and went on to star in two more Brazilian films (2005's Lower City and 2006's Only God Knows) before making the transition to Hollywood in the mid-'00sShe became known to wider audiences in 2007 when she worked alongside Will Smith in I Am Legend, playing the survivor who takes the cure from the star before he blows himself — and a bunch of terribly rendered zombies — to pieces.

Since then, Braga has split her time between the States and Brazil, where she has her own production company. She's never stopped acting, however, and chances are you've seen her do her thing on numerous occasions over the past decade, even if you didn't know it. In 2010 she starred opposite Jude Law and Forest Whitaker in action thriller Repo Men, and that same year she joined an ensemble cast that included Adrien Brody and Laurence Fishburne for Predators, an attempted revival of the sci-fi franchise. Other notable credits include the Matt Damon sci-fi thriller Elysium (2013), the Simon Pegg comedy Kill Me Three Times (2014), and the hit show Queen of the South, on which Braga has starred as Teresa Mendoza (a downtrodden Mexican woman who builds a drug empire) since 2016. "That was a journey I really wanted to play," Braga told Interview magazine.