They started out as close friends. There was even the suggestion of a forbidden romance. No, I’m not talking about Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender), though I understand why you’d glance down that path. I mean X-Men: First Class co-stars Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and now word comes out that their relationship will be further explored in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse, due out in 2016.
X-Men co-writer and producer Simon Kinberg tipped the direction of the story in an interview with Collider, where he confirmed that the tense relationship between Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto would continue to have an impact on what has become the First Class trilogy. But also, Kinberg added this nugget about the Beast-Mystique dynamic, stating:
The relationship between Beast and Mystique is a really interesting one that we didn’t have a lot of time to explore in Days of Future Past, so we’ll have an opportunity to do more of that in Apocalypse."
Until he’d mentioned it, I’d basically forgotten the tender interactions that director Matthew Vaughn weaved into X-Men: First Class. Beast (Hoult) and Mystique (Lawrence) were inductees into Xavier’s school at the same time, and forged a connection over the scary exteriors. Remember how they bonded in this lovely scene?
If you had told me, however, that Mystique – of all characters – would be as impactful on the X-Men series as Wolverine, Charles or Magneto, I’d have laughed you out of the Danger Room. The make-up transition required to make Rebecca Romijn-Stamos into the deadly Mystique seemed to be the whole story for Bryan Singer’s first X-Men. Since then, though, the character has become a staple. Casting Jennifer Lawrence as the assassin in the latest phase of movies certainly helps to up the ante on the amount of Mystique that we get in the stories. But seeing as how Lawrence has a second, massive franchise in The Hunger Games, as well as Oscar-potential projects waiting in the wings, I’m surprised to hear that she’ll be a major part of X-Men: Apocalypse. Maybe Kinberg just loves writing for her, even though she gets very little to say when she’s in her bluest form.
Bryan Singer should have a lot of X-Men to juggle, no matter who pulls focus, in Apocalypse. He proved with Days of Future Past that he’s capable of the task. The new movie opens in theaters on May 27, 2016.