The age of Apocalypse is upon us, as X-Men: Apocalypse is taking theaters by (somewhat underwhelming) storm. The ninth X-Men adventure brings to a close the timeline-bending First Class trilogy and sets up the next round of X-films. The final Wolverine flick is next on the docket, with an untitled X-Men film – likely set in space – expected for arrival within the next 2-3 years.
Much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though, 20th Century Fox's Marvel universe is missing a certain feminine aspect. With a Gambit solo film on the docket, and three Wolverine standalones, is the time right for a Mystique feature?
Producer and director Bryan Singer certainly thinks so. In the latest Empire Spoiler podcast, screenwriter/producer Simon Kinberg and Singer, the gurus of FOx's X-universe, discussed X-Men: Apocalypse and the future of the franchise. Singer further explored the origins of the film and its connection to the comic book world, especially the alternate-reality saga Age of Apocalypse. Singer explained:
"[It's my] kind of my homage to the Age Of Apocalypse comic - everyone sort of switches roles. Obviously I didn't tell that full story, but people's sides are switched, alliances are changed.”
Many X-Men fans probably caught wind of the various film subplots tied into the popular comic book story arc (and other hints). On the other hand, casual moviegoers with only a little experience with the series were likely a bit confused. The renewed timeline set up by X-Men: Days of Future Past allowed Singer and crew to dart between classic X-mythology and tweak the characters and their relationships to one-another. One of the most interesting aspects of Apocalypse, though, was a getting a fresh look at Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven/Mystique. Her renewed role in the film universe, as well as her character's popularity, could mesh with Singer’s interest in a solo shot:
“I think [Mystique's] right for [a standalone], whether it's Jennifer or not. She has this different view of the world: 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."
As one of the most intriguing and ambiguous X-Men characters, Mystique could easily carry her own film. Singer alludes to the possibility of a Raven film without Jennifer Lawrence – perhaps leading away from her earlier statements where she expressed her interest in continuing as the character. However, Lawrence clearly has the star power to carry a film, so her departure from the character could damage any possible standalone film. Still, the only other X-Men member to have a solo shot thus far was Wolverine (unless you include X-Forcer Deadpool), another gritty and ethically abstruse character. Clearly there’s an audience for a Mystique solo shot. There are also dozens of interesting comic book story arcs to explore, including Mystique’s covert work for Xavier.
Unfortunately Singers’ interest in a Mystique standalone doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen, though. Still, as one of the driving forces behind the X-Men universe, Singer certainly could make a Mystique film a reality. Fox recently reshuffled its film release dates, including several untitled features – with New Mutants and Deadpool 2 most likely among them. But a Mystique picture could, theoretically, wind its way into the release slate before 2020. The time is definitely right for more Raven.
X-Men: Apocalypse is now playing in theaters. Wolverine 3 opens in U.S. theaters on March 3rd, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), March 2nd, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and June 29th, 2018 (possibly New Mutants). X-Force is also in development.
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