A Mystique Spin-Off Film Might Not Feature Jennifer Lawrence, But It Could Still Happen
When Bryan Singer, the director of the X-Men franchise recently appeared on The Empire Film Podcast, he announced some exciting news for fans: the possibility of a Mystique X-Men spin-off film. In the podcast, Singer said “I think [Mystique’s] right for [a standalone movie], whether it’s Jennifer [Lawrence] or not. Xavier can get into Cerebro and look at the world but he’d rather just teach classes and see the beauty of mutants and humans co-existing in his mansion in Westchester. Along comes Raven with a reality check on the state of the world. It opens up a lot of avenues.” But while Singer is optimistic about a future for Mystique, Jennifer Lawrence remains uncommitted.
She had signed a contract to complete three films and has fulfilled this same contract with X-Men:Apocalypse. When she spoke to Entertainment Weekly about this in May, she was characteristically open about her next steps: “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...I would love to come back. I love the fans and I love the character. But then you realize how important your year is, like how important three months out of your year is. I don’t know. I shouldn’t be that honest.”
But whether or not Lawrence returns (and honestly, the above sounds like a polite no, right?), Singer is clearly passionate about the possibilities for Mystique in her own solo film. And Lawrence isn't chained to the part: Mystique was previously played by Rebecca Romijn in the original X-Men trilogy, meaning that filmgoers wouldn't necessarily be turned off by a solo movie focused on Mystique that doesn't star Lawrence.
However, from a fan of the comics' perspective, a solo movie for Mystique is a surprising development. Mystique's a complex character — which makes for a great solo movie, admittedly — but she's historically generally been part of teams or groups rather than operating on her lonesome. Since she first sprung onto the page in 1978, The Hollywood Reporter cites her as having been a member of the following:
Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Freedom Force, the X-Men, X-Factor, the short-lived anti-hero team "Dark X-Men" and even the Avengers for a brief time. (Additionally, she's also served time with the ninja clan The Hand and secret government agencies for both the U.S. and Israel at one point or another.)
It would be interesting to see how Singer would get around this issue to provide enough accuracy to the source material to keep die-hard X-Men fans happy while also keeping the focus squarely enough on Mystique to justify a solo movie. But LBR: if anyone can do this, it's Singer. He's proved himself to be the master of character development (see his treatment of Charles Xavier in X-Men: Days of Future Past) and commitment to X-Men, having directed five of the six X-Men movies and produced on the sixth he didn't direct (X-Men: First Class). A solo spin-off movie about Mystique would be business as usual for Singer: making something that's difficult look very, very easy.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy