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Since X-Men: First Class was released in 2011, the X-Men movie franchise has been anchored by four primary actors: James McAvoy as Professor X, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Nicholas Hoult as Beast. X-Men: Apocalypse is wrapping up the “First Class” trilogy, but the X-Men franchise itself is far from over. However, we still don’t know yet whether any of these four actors will reprise their respective mutants past their original deals, but according to Lawrence, it sounds like their return is an “one for all, all for one” kind of deal.
During an interview with EW, Jennifer Lawrence revealed that she’d at one point she had a conversation with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender about returning, and eventually reached a peculiar arrangement. She said:
Fassbender and McAvoy and I were all talking. Like, ‘Will you come back?’ ‘I dunno.’ ‘I’ll come back, if you come back.’ Fox should be terrified because the deal we made was like, if one of us doesn’t come back, none of us are.
This accounts for three of the “First Class” stars, but where was Nicholas Hoult when this agreement was made? After all, Hank McCoy is fairly important to the recent movies. Either way, it sounds like most, if not all, of the “First Class” core cast want to stick together, though this is by no means ironclad. If the studio throws enough money at one of them, they may end up staying aboard, pact be damned. Your move, Fox.
Of these four actors, Jennifer Lawrence has always seemed the least likely to return, despite her saying that she enjoys these movies. Her career has skyrocketed since she signed on to X-Men: First Class, so it’s not like this franchise is the only thing keeping her afloat. She’s also mentioned before how she doesn’t like wearing the blue body paint for scenes showing Mystique’s true appearance, so that could deter her from reprising the role. As for the others, their future with the franchise is also unclear, especially Michael Fassbender. Like Lawrence, his career has taken off in recent years, and he’s now involved with the Prometheus/Alien and Assassin’s Creed franchises, so he has plenty to keep himself busy.
Assuming that these four don’t all return together, I’m guessing that at minimum, James McAvoy will eventually reprise Charles Xavier. The bald telepath is expected to be part of the New Mutants movie, and if that ends up taking places soon after X-Men: Apocalypse or in the 1990s, then McAvoy’s Professor X stands the better chance of appearing than Patrick Stewart’s. He’s the headmaster at the school where most of the mutant superheroes live, so it’s harder to explain his absence than it is to write out Magneto, Mystique and Beast.
We’ll see the “First Class” characters, along with other important players from the X-Men lore, when X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27.