One of our biggest problems with X-Men: Apocalypse was Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. Don’t get us wrong, we love J-Law. She was brilliant in Silver Linings Playbook and had no problem stealing scenes all over the place in American Hustle. We also loved Winter’s Bone, which predated her Hunger Games megastardom. However, in Apocalypse, her performance was disturbingly unhurried, listless and dead-eyed.
Her third stint as the shape-shifting mutant was widely predicted to be her last outing, mainly because she had previously voiced disquiet with continuing in a part that required her to wear an extremely uncomfortable suit. Then, right before Apocalypse came out, she said she’d love to continue making X-Men films. Cheers for the mixed signals, write our friends as Squareeyed.TV.
Now, Bryan Singer has only gone and made the situation worse by saying that 20th Century Fox and himself would love Lawrence to continue as the face of the franchise moving forward, starting with a Mystique solo film: “People have asked if I’d do a stand-alone [movie about Mystique]. I think she’s right…She has that view of the world.”
Singer’s comments are strikingly similar to producer Simon Kinberg, who said this while promoting Days of Future Past two years ago: “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.”
Hmmm. We’re not so sure a Mystique film would attract such a positive response, especially considering that the broad consensus of Lawrence’s Apocalypse performance was that she “mailed it in.” While she was on The Graham Norton Show, they debuted a clip where Raven returned to Charles Xavier’s mutant school. The two engage in dialogue—and it’s rather flat. When the clip finished, Lawrence proclaimed that “she is a truly awful actress.” The audience erupted into laughter. I was laughing, too, sitting in my house. But I was laughing because it was true. Lawrence isn’t a terrible actress, far from it, but her analysis of that scene from Apocalypse was on-point.
Kinberg also recently opened up about Wolverine’s original role in Apocalypse, which tied into their vision over Mystique’s central role in the franchise: “There was always a notion that we wanted Wolverine to be in the movie. We wanted to find a way to feature him in the film, partly because Bryan [Singer] and I love Hugh [Jackman] so much. . . . There was a version when he was going to come in at the midpoint of the film and be like the drill sergeant for the kids and take over as their leader. And we felt like that stepped on [Jennifer Lawrence’s] role in the movie and becoming their leader.”
Yep, we definitely took that away from Apocalypse. Wolverine is no longer the face of the franchise. She is so important to them that she reduced Wolverine’s screen time and that’s no mean feat for a mutant. They’re really trying to push for a Mystique solo film. Someone has to try and stop them!
And in related news, director Bryan Singer, chatting to Empire, revealed that he has a fun cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse that he’s confident no-one noticed: “I have a little cameo, I’m the guy with the machine gun… screaming. When I look at it, I couldn’t recognise myself so I knew no one else could. But it was cool to get killed by Wolverine. It’s now one of the many things I can put on my resume”.
As for the Wolverine cameo which isn’t exactly what you might think it is in the movie, Singer says it was easy to get Hugh Jackman on board: “We went back later to film the Wolverine segment because Hugh was training for the next Wolverine sequel and we wanted him in a certain kind of shape. At first, Hugh was reticent to do it, but once I explained it to him, what the scene is and why it’s there, he agreed to do it over the phone, which is unusual. Usually there’s a bit of negotiation involved, but he said ‘You can call my agent, but I’m in, I love it.’”
Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg chatted to Cinemablend about the scene and revealed that it did change a lot before filming: “There was always a notion that we wanted Wolverine to be in the movie. We wanted to find a way to feature him in the film, partly because Bryan [Singer] and I love Hugh so much. We love the character, obviously, and he’s such a huge part of the franchise. There were a lot of iterations of how Wolverine would enter and exit the movie. There was a version when he was going to come in at the midpoint of the film and be like the drill sergeant for the kids and take over as their leader. And we felt like that stepped on [Jennifer Lawrence’s] role in the movie and becoming their leader.
“As we were, again, conceptually brainstorming the script, we knew that the kids were going to be abducted, or that a lot of our main characters were going to be abducted and taken somewhere. So we thought it would be interesting to take them to Alkali Lake, and that they would naturally, potentially… that the Weapon X program would be there, and maybe that was a place to find Wolverine.”
So there you have it, would you like to see a Mystique solo movie? Let us know your thoughts…