It was only eight months ago I spoke to three major parts of Fox's X-Men cinematic brain trust - Lauren Shuler-Donner, Hutch Parker and Simon Kinberg - and the consensus was that X-Men: Days Of Future Past would be good enough and well-received enough to reinvigorate the franchise - and pave the way for long pent-up demand for solo films starring characters in the X-Men Cinematic Universe's characters.
The three characters the Big Three seemed to think were the most likely, bankable and desirable to be featured in solo films back in May 2014 were: Deadpool, Gambit, and Mystique.
Since then, a Deadpool film starring Ryan Reynolds has been announced and put on the schedule for February 12, 2016 and a Gambit film has been announced and put on the schedule for October 7, 2016.
Which means, two down and one to go. Right?
It seems a no-brainer and almost a foregone conclusion at this point that Fox will further expand it's X-Men Cinematic Universe by doing what they failed to do in the early years of the franchise - make a solo spinoff film starring the most popular actress in the world.
In those early years, that actress was Halle Berry. It is still unfathomable to me that they didn't even seriously try to make a Storm film back when Berry's star wattage was at it's peak.
However, as the announcements for[Deadpool](movie:38663) and Gambit - and an upcoming third Wolverine -suggest, Fox seems to finally be ready to explore the box-office potential many individual characters in their stable possess.
So a Mystique film starring Jennifer Lawrence seems like a guarantee at this point.
Especially when you consider a few things:
1. She's smart
Jennifer Lawrence is smart enough to realize that after the closing chapter of The Hunger Games hits theaters this November, she is going to need another high-profile franchise to star in and balance her more modestly budgeted projects. Yes, she has been part of the X-franchise since 2011, but it was not until [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) that she was considered one of it's stars. Of course, in that time, she became the most popular actress in the world thanks to Katniss Everdeen and an Oscar win. Headlining her own solo franchise would keep her name out there for those who want to see her in action roles.
2. Her character is important
The X-Franchise's "Big Three" now consider Lawrence's Mystique to be one of the franchise's "Big Four" characters, along with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine; Patrick Stewart/James McAvoy's Professor X, and Ian McKellen/Michael Fassbender's Magneto.
3. The role will be key in future X-Men films
It has been confirmed Lawrence's Mystique will play a key role in the next X-team film, [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267), which hits theaters on May 27, 2016. It is from this film that Fox is spinning off [Gambit](movie:612399) into his own film. It only makes sense that they would do the same for Lawrence and a Mystique film.
4. We still need more female Superheroes
With Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel coming in response to the demand for superhero films with female leads, a Mystique film, with Lawrence's proven track record at the box-office, may be the best film Fox could come up with to possibly eclipse them both.
5. Fox's X-Men brain trust WANTS a Mystique film to happen!
Here are their quotes regarding the topic from my interviews with them last May:
"Well, I would like it," X-Men producer Shuler-Donner said. "It's definitely a possibility."
"It's definitely possible," said producer Parker, who emphasized that Lawrence's Mystique was now one of the X-Men's Big Four.
"I think everyone's a possibility, but I have to admit I do love writing for Jennifer Lawrence," X-Men: Days of Future Past writer Simon Kinberg. "I would write every scene in every movie she does if I could."
"She's a very funny and passionate actress with a ton of class," Kinberg concluded. "She's very professional and has a lot of passion for the Mystique character. So we'll see."
6. Fox knows Lawrence is in huge demand
She has even been rumored for the Captain Marvel role - and was "renegotiating" her X-contract last May. It is unlikely they did that just to get her to do more ensemble films.
7. They have slots to fill for 2017
Fox has THREE X-films on the schedule right now for 2016. Does it make sense that they would follow that up by leaving Jackman's latest Wolverine outing all by it's lonesome in 2017 - especially with Marvel Studios already filling the superhero film slate for that year with THREE films:[Guardians of the Galaxy 2](movie:1081113) , Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther - and DC/Warner Brothers likely countering with Wonder Woman and Justice League, Part 1, it would make no sense for Fox to do battle that year with only Logan and a Fantastic Four 2 film that may never happen. Heck, Sony may even have their "Female Solo Spidey" film AND "Venom" coming out that year
Fox is not going to want to cede ground in the superhero film wars.
What do all of you think?