Despite promising big things, X-Men: Apocalypse was a disappointment. Continuing Fox's superhero franchise by picking things up from X-Men: Days of Future Past, an underwhelming response by both fans and critics appeared to signal an end of an era — especially as the A-list ensemble cast had fulfilled their multi-film, superhero contract obligation.
It was something of a surprise, then, when Jennifer Lawrence — arguably the most high-profile of the cast — announced she would be returning for X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Lawrence is one of the biggest earners in Hollywood, with no shortage of job offers from a host of eclectic projects. Following her contract expiry, it seemed certain that she'd be leaving the franchise behind.
However, in an interview with Digital Spy, Lawrence revealed that she had a sense Mystique's story was incomplete, and that there was more she could do as the yellow-eyed, blue-skinned mutant. She said:
"I didn't have to do another one, but if I didn't do another one, what would her story be? I felt like I owed it to the fans, and I owed it to the character to follow her journey, to be fair to the movies, and not be like, 'I don't want to do another X-Men!' And then I just never show up and everyone's very confused about the Mystique they've been following for the last three films."
'Dark Phoenix' Takes A Fresh Direction
First appearing in X-Men: First Class (2011), Lawrence returned to the role in Days of Future Past (2014) and Apocalypse. Despite indifferent reception to the latter, Lawrence has generally been praised for her performance as the mutant shapeshifter. For the sake of continuity, Lawrence's inclusion in #DarkPhoenix is crucial, and provides a huge boost for Fox.
Set in 1991, Dark Phoenix ushers in the beginning of a new trilogy, adapting the acclaimed comic book story arc of the same name. Long-time X-Men scribe Simon Kinberg will write the screenplay, and also make his directorial debut behind the lens. Events take place 10 years after X-Men: Apocalypse, when the X-Men have to defeat Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), a powerful mutant who loses control of her ability.
Grey's journey to the dark side, having been a member of the #XMen previously and a beloved character, will take the series in a new, fresh direction. Her evil deeds will be backed up by newcomer villainess Lilandra (Jessica Chastain), as well as a clean sweep of returning big names; Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Beast (Nicholas Hoult).
Let's hope Lawrence's loyalty to the franchise pays off.
Are you glad that the A-list actors are returning for X-Men: Dark Phoenix?
(Source: Digital Spy)