'New Mutants' Adds 'Stranger Things' Star Charlie Heaton As Cannonball

With filming set to kick off this summer, things are suddenly moving very quickly on Josh Boone's New Mutants film.  With Anya Taylor-Joy set as Magik, Maisie Williams confirmed as Wolfsbane, and Rosario Dawson having joined as Dr. Cecilia Reyes, the role of the team's field leader, Cannonball, has just been filled. And as someone who counts Cannonball as one of my favorite comic book characters ever, this casting has taken me a little by surprise.

Charlie Heaton, best known for Netflix's Stranger Things, will play Sam "Cannonball" Guthrie in the film.  Nat Wolff had been rumored for the role some time ago but nothing ever seemed to move on that one. Guthrie is kid from the coal mining town of Cumberland, KY, working in the same coal mine that killed his father. When he too becomes trapped in the mine, it sets off his mutant ability of rocket propulsion, allowing him to escape. In the comics he's invulnerable while, and after he joined Cable in the team known as X-Force he was briefly thought to be immortal. Doubtful that last bit makes it into the movie.  However, the Guthries are part of a family of mutants, as Sam's sisters Paige and Melody, plus brothers Jeb and Josh, all possess powers. Sam is a natural leader, and not only leads the New Mutants but X-Force, and becomes a key member of the X-Men.

Not who I expected to land the role, but I can't really complain. Heaton is a good actor, and worth checking out in a film called As You Are which opened earlier this year.

New Mutants opens April 13th 2018. [THR]