Bryan Singer is taking a step-back from directing X-Men films to tackle a new feature adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, but that doesn’t mean he’s not talking up the future of mutant franchise.
While speaking on The Empire Film Podcast, Singer revealed his own support to see Mystique to get her own movie, with or without Jennifer Lawrence in the role. Here’s what he had to say about Raven heading-up her own standalone.
“I think [Mystique’s] right for [a standalone movie], whether it’s Jennifer [Lawrence] or not.”
“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.”
Fox is seemingly the only big studio making superhero films that hasn’t announced development on a female-driven movie, while Warner Bros. releases Wonder Woman next summer and Marvel is hiring a director/actor for Captain Marvel. It’s been apparent for years Fox has control of the majority of female Marvel characters, but has yet to develop films since Elektra bombed.
Singer had previously admitted to pitching Wolverine‘s female clone X-23 for future films, she could easily get her own string of films as well. Olivia Munn (Psylocke) and Alexandra Shipp (Storm) have also expressed interest in spin-offs during recent interviews.
However, it’s no secret that Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t seem like she’ll be sticking around for much longer.
Recasting Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique has been obviously on the minds of Fox, considering even though she’s talked about being open to returning it’s unlikely to happen. Jennifer has been candid in the press that films like X-Men and Hunger Games lost her more prestige projects that she really wanted to do, one of them included Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.
The studio and producers have gone out of their way to build-up Raven as this major player in the X-Men franchise, so even if Jennifer exits they’ll likely be looking to find another actress for the part quickly. Raven having slowed-aging not unlike Wolverine, means Fox can hire actresses at varied age ranges.
I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if they look towards rising talent like Maika Monore (The Guest, The Following, Independence Day: Resurgence) as she was recently in the mix to star in Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel, but didn’t land the lead in the budding franchise.
Fox could also move towards landing fellow Oscar winners Charlize Theron (Coldest City, Fast 8, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Gray Man) and Alica Vikander (Ex Machina, Jason Bourne, The Tomb Raider, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) to replace Jennifer Lawrence, as the two are attaching themselves to larger blockbuster projects and haven’t made the jump to comic book superhero roles yet.
The potential storyline is up-in-the-air concerning connections to the comic books, but a couple of villains that could be prime for a solo film include Mister Sinister and his Marauders, Callisto and the Morlocks, the Shadow King along with his followers like Lian Shen.
Raven has also been apart of government sanctioned teams such as The Red Guard and Freedom Force, so her solo film wouldn’t have to be entirely linked to the main X-Men lineup. Playing-up her espionage origins could make for interesting spy themed film within the X-Men universe.
X-Men: Apocalypse set-up both the possibility of Sinister and the Morlocks (via Caliban) coming into play in the future, it would be interesting to see the mutant underworld explored beyond Gambit.
I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if the mutant massacre is saved for Mystique and not Gambit.
There’s plenty of material and potential here, let’s just see if Fox feels the same way about it.