The X-Men comics and movies have always had a certain amount of subtext related to the treatment and persecution of minority and the pressure for mutants to remain “closeted” in human society, and this will almost certainly be a strong theme running through the upcoming sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. Based on a comic arc wherein the mutants are rounded up and either killed or sent to internment camps, the movie will also show the early days of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants, which includes Mystique.
Raven was seen struggling with her identity a great deal in X-Men: First Class, since she spent her youth actively disguising her true appearance in order to blend in better with society. After a reprimand from Eric about the division of her concentration making her weaker, she started to come around to the idea of using her natural form, and even considering it beautiful rather than freakish.
Speaking to SciFiNow, Jennifer Lawrence spoke a little about her wardrobe (or lack thereof) in X-Men: Days of Future Past and how it reflects the changes she’s undergone as a character, in particular her newfound acceptance of the way she looks:
“I’m naked. But when I do get to wear clothes, I love the ’70s outfits. Some of the Mystique look is a little different, but we’re still using the same paint. But she’s different in this film, too. She was struggling – like a lot of normal humans – with the way she looked, and she was covered up a lot in the first movie, but this time she is Mutant and proud.”
Though Mystique is wandering around naked, X-Men: Days of Future Past will manage to dodge an R rating thanks to some skillful application of blue scales. Even so, the first time she appears adult and nude in front of Charles in X-Men: First Class felt a lot more intimate and risqué than, for example, Rebecca Romijn’s many nude scenes in the original X-Men movie – perhaps because it’s such a major step in the character’s coming-of-age.
Director Bryan Singer has already hinted at a more confident, dangerous and even feral Mystique in X-Men: Days of Future Past, tweeting a teaser image of her bare leg as she chokes an unfortunate victim with her foot. An earlier behind-the-scenes image of Lawrence in full make-up also showed that her blue skin will be slightly darker in the sequel than it was in X-Men: First Class, becoming a lot closer to the make-up that Romijn wore. Perhaps, with all the exposure to direct sunlight, this is Mystique’s version of a tan.
As interesting as Raven’s character arc was in X-Men: First Class, it’s something of a relief to learn that her struggle to come to terms with her mutant identity isn’t something that will be dragged out into the sequel as well. Now that the character is “Mutant and proud,” we’ll hopefully see a little more focus on how she develops from someone who is still essentially good at heart into a deadly and ruthless ally for Magneto.
X-Men: Days of Future Past will be in theaters on May 23rd, 2014