It would be fair to say that Jennifer Lawrence and the X-Men movies have had a mutually beneficial relationship. The Oscar-winning actress jumped into the 2011 soft reboot of the franchise, X-Men: First Class, at a time when she was just on the cusp of exploding into stardom. When the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past hit theaters in 2014, a much-more-famous Jennifer Lawrence was a central piece of the film's marketing and PR campaign.
As X-Men: Apocalypse enters production, many have been questioning Lawrence's future with the franchise, and as you can see for yourself in the video above, it seems that question has been definitively answered by the actress herself.
For anyone who has been following the new X-Men movie universe with interest, this shouldn't be all that surprising for a list of reasons:
- Lawrence is an Oscar-winning face of a major movie franchise (Hunger Games). She doesn't need to be a character actress in an ensemble comic book franchise to build exposure.
- She's a major A-list talent now. Her price for appearing in these films is probably getting too high.
- As the X-Men movies continue to move through decades of time ('80s era in Apocalypse), and modern-day spinoffs come into play (Deadpool), there will be new characters to meet, while the original "Class" evolves into adult versions we met in the original X-Men trilogy (in this case, the Rebecca Romijn version of Mystique).
- The X-Men fanbase has begun to call for these films to move past some of the same recurring characters that have carried the franchise thus far.
Truth be told, the problem X-Men faces with Lawrence, it also faces with most of the recurring cast members from both the First Class and Original Trilogy eras. Michael Fassbender has skyrocketed into fame and has a major franchise like Assassin's Creed coming soon; even youngsters like Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) have gained more leading role opportunities with bigger paychecks.
In any event, Fox seems to be going in a different direction with building their new X-Men movie universe, adding either big-name or proven talent to films like Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Morena Baccarin) and Gambit (Channing Tatum). That's different from the attempt to grab "on the verge," relatively-unknown talent like Hoult, Fassbender and Lawrence for First Class.
Of course, the movie business is not a clear-cut path of progression. While it is almost certain that people like Lawrence and Fassbender are going to be out of future installments (the Mystique/Magneto thing could use a rest), other actors like James McAvoy or even Hoult could very well stay onboard with the franchise into future installments.
It really is a matter of career situation - as will hold true for any original trilogy cast members who may (or may not) appear in the larger X-Men movie universe. As it stands, Apocalypse will bring back Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and Ian McKellen's Magneto, so clearly pieces of the Original Trilogy are still very much in play.
Right now, young actors like Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp and Sophie Turner also stepping up to provide new (and hopefully better) versions original X-Men like Cyclops, Storm and Jean Grey, so like McAvoy and Fassbender, the young class could replace the old guard, in terms of popularity.
Fantastic Four opens August 7th, 2015, Deadpool on February 12, 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016, Gambit on October 7 2016, Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3rd, 2017, Fantastic Four 2 on June 9th, 2017, and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13th, 2018.