Because X-Men: Apocalypse is the final entry in the franchise’s "First Class" trilogy, this also means that the contracts for the trilogy’s main quartet of stars will expire. This includes Jennifer Lawrence, who has played the shapeshifting Mystique since 2011. Earlier this year, Lawrence implied that the 2016 blockbuster will be her final X-Men film, and while now she isn’t 100% certain about leaving anymore, she did give a reason for why she might not want to reprise Mystique: the makeup.
Lawrence told EW that although she likes working on the films, she’s grown tired of the blue body paint she has to wear for Mystique’s natural form. Although she originally wasn’t bothered by the paint’s "fumes and toxins" when she signed onto X-Men: First Class, now she has a different perspective. According to Lawrence:
Now I’m almost 25 and I’m like, ‘I can’t even pronounce this and that’s going in my nose? I’m breathing that?
Despite her aversion to the body paint and adhesives, Lawrence doesn't rule out returning to the franchise, admitting that she wouldn’t "not want to be asked" to reprise her role. Michael Fassbender and Nicholas Hoult previously mentioned that they’d be open to returning as Magneto and Beast, respectively, but so far there haven’t been any contract extensions announced. Although Mystique has been one of the series’ most important characters in recent years, the process of putting the paint and applications on Lawrence takes hours, and combined with these fumes, no one would blame the actress if she’s had enough.
Executive producer Simon Kinberg provided his own thoughts on the subject, saying that while it would be great if Lawrence and the rest of the First Class gang come back, the franchise will plan for their permanent exit if need be. Kinberg said:
I just wanna finish this movie and then figure out the next one. But I do think about the next chapters of these stories. My hope is we can bring these guys back. And if we didn’t then I would adjust.
10 years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse will show Mystique, a.k.a Raven, now helping to rescue opressed mutants, including a young Nightcrawler. When she discovers that the titular antagonist has recruited Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) to his cause, she will reunite with Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) so they can help their old friend. Though no other X-Men movies have been announced yet, the franchise’s universe isn’t going anywhere. 2016 will also see the release of Deadpool and Gambit, Wolverine 3 comes out in March 2017, and there is a New Mutants film is in development.
X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27, 2016.