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X-Men: Apocalypse marks the conclusion of the X-Men "First Class" trilogy, which has followed the adventures of young Professor X, Magneto, Beast and Mystique. Other than spinoffs like Gambit and the third Wolverine film, we don’t know what the future of the franchise holds following the 2016 blockbuster. One thing we now know for certain, however, is that it will be continuing without one of its most famous lead stars: Jennifer Lawrence.
The actress confirmed to MTV News that X-Men: Apocalypse will be her last film as the blue-skinned Mystique, who she has played since 2011. While she didn’t give any elaboration on her exit, it seems that unlike her co-star Nicholas Hoult, Lawrence isn’t interested in signing on for another film even if the right script comes long. It’s not as if the actress is hurting for work. In the years following the release of X-Men: First Class, she has become an international movie star and an Oscar winner, her most notable roles including Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games movies, Tiffany Maxwell in Silver Linings Playbook and Rosalyn Rosenfeld in American Hustle.
Although Rebecca Romijn played Mystique in the original films, it was Jennifer Lawrence’s tenure that fleshed out the character beyond just being the acrobatic, sneaky infiltrator. She was retconned as being Charles Xavier’s adopted sister in X-Men: First Class and helped him form the first X-Men team before joining up with Magneto. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, it was her assassinating Bolivar Trask that led to the apocalyptic future, but by the end of the film, she resisted her killer urges and opted not to kill the Sentinel creator. X-Men: Apocalypse will follow up on her in the 1980s by delving into her love triangle with Beast and Magneto, as well as exploring her status as a fugitive in the years following the White House attack.
As for what this means for the character Mystique’s future in the films, that’s unclear. Depending on what time period the next X-Men films take place in, there’s always the possibility that Romijin could reprise the character for a minor appearance. Lawrence leaving the franchise also essentially puts the kibosh on the Mystique spinoff that was rumored last year since it’s extremely doubtful the studio would want to move forward on it without the Academy Award-winning actress.
X-Men: Apocalypse will be released in theaters on May 27, 2016.