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The future of the X-Men franchise has to be its past. Hugh Jackman might be willing to stay in Wolverine’s tights indefinitely, but if Fox wants to extend the brand for years (as is the plan), they are going to have to continue to develop the versions of the X-Men characters introduced in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. And one of those important characters could be the next mutant to get a spinoff solo film.
In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, longtime X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner spoke about the work Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) has done to date in the series, and says that in the future, they’d like to figure out how to get her to do more of it.
"I love what Jen Lawrence has done with [Mystique], and I feel like because she is in such a crowded ensemble, there’s so much more opportunity if you were to follow her solo."
Check out her timeline in the character:
But why stop there? Donner also said:
"There was a regime [at the studio] that didn’t see the worth in [spin-offs], and the current people who run Fox understand, embrace it, and we’re going to do right by it. I’d like to do Gambit. I’d like to do Deadpool. We’ll see. There’s a lot of really great characters."
There are! And a while back, when the studio did X-Men Origins: Wolverine, that was supposed to be the start of a string of spinoff movies. But we ran right back to ensemble X-Men movies like First Class and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past.
But after that, the focus seems to be shifting to the First Class kids. Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse will be a direct sequel to X-Men: First Class, set in the 1980s (according to the director). And the spinoffs should stay with the First Class versions, which would include Lawrence’s Mystique.
The question would be timing. Lawrence will soon put the finishing touches on her Hunger Games franchise (if she hasn’t wrapped already). Beyond that, the Oscar winner is one of the most sought after talents for upcoming projects. Does she want to commit to more X-Men movies, as sequels or spinoffs? She’ll be able to make that choice, for sure. I want to know if she’s signed for X-Men: Apocalypse, and if she’s interested in a Mystique movie, at all. Time will tell, but it’s a great idea.