Jennifer Lawrence says working on X-Men: Dark Phoenix has been her best acting experience so far in the long-running franchise. The upcoming fourth installment in 20th Century Fox’s X-Men prequel series (and 13th installment in the studio’s overall X-Men franchise) continues the story left off with Bryan Singer’s 2016 film, X-Men: Apocalypse, and brings Chris Claremont’s iconic 1980 comic book story arc, The Dark Phoenix Saga, to life on the big screen… again. The studio previously attempted to adapt the storyline in Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand.
Among the many cast members returning for the sequel is Jennifer Lawrence, who will be reprising her role as the shape-shifting mutant Mystique, aka Raven Darkhölme, for the third time. She made her first appearance as the iconic mutant in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, and she later reprised her role in Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and 2016’s Apocalypse. Although her contract ended with the last movie, she still decided to return for 2018’s X-Men sequel for the fans, and because she promised Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg she would if he chose to direct. As it turns out, she had an amazing experience on set.
Lawrence told EW that working on X-Men: Dark Phoenix has been her best acting experience so far in the X-Men series, which she attributes to the fact that Kinberg – who’s written every major X-Men movie since The Last Stand (except for First Class) as well as produced every X-Men movie and TV show since 2011 – moved from writer to director on the upcoming sequel. She said:
“Acting-wise it was the best experience I’ve had [on these films]. [Kinberg] been writing these characters for so long and he knows them so deeply. I suddenly felt more connected to my character than I ever have been before.”
Lawrence also felt that past movies were always fun but chaotic. And now, under Kinberg’s direction, she finally had the chance to work on an X-Men movie that was balanced and coordinated prior to cameras rolling. She added: “It was unrecognizable. Everything was on time. Everything was organized. These movies have always been fun amidst chaos, and now they were fun with no chaos.” What’s interesting about the actress’ comments is that they come on the heels off Singer being fired from Bohemian Rhapsody, in part, for “unreliability and unprofessionalism.”
X-Men: Dark Phoenix is one of three mutant-related movies releasing in 2018 – the other two being The New Mutants and Deadpool 2 – and while the movie is based on The Dark Phoenix Saga, it will reportedly take the series in a new direction. We’ll just have to wait and see what that direction is.