With recent news on the future of the X-Men films and a possible X-Force, I would like to touch upon a subject that is essential when speaking about the new line of X-Men movies, that would be the great Jennifer Lawrence.
The X-Men Without Jennifer Lawrence
Ever since her debut in the mutant franchise in the 2011 movie X-Men: First Class, we’ve seen how important she has become as the character Mystique, even replacing the iconic Wolverine as the face of the X-Men in the marketing of this year’s installment. Of course this is part due to her rise in popularity after her performance in the 2012 film-adaptation of The Hunger Games novel, and again in that movie’s sequel. She had a much larger role in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, and now in Apocalypse she is the team leader.
Lawrence As Mystique
The role of Mystique as a leader is an unusual one, as the character is not necessarily a superhero, but has acted as more of a supervillain in the comics and in the original X-Men film trilogy played by Rebecca Romijn. Her portrayal as a critical part of the X-Men in the new trilogy is due solely because of Jennifer Lawrence, and if Lawrence was not cast for the part, then the character would’ve totally being presented differently. From my point of view, this is because Jennifer Lawrence, ever since The Hunger Games has established herself as one of the most respected women in Hollywood, and having her as a villain would undermine the message she is trying to send as a female role model.
Jennifer Lawrence wouldn’t have had to star as Mystique to be part of the X-Men, as she could’ve being any other mutant in Marvel Comic’s long list of mutant characters. I find the filmmakers’ choice to make her Mystique quite interesting. I think this was due because at the time that X-Men: First Class was made, the X-Men film timeline was still intact before Wolverine changed it in Days of Future Past, and since Rebecca Romijn's Mystique in X-Men: The Last Stand was killed off in horrible fashion, it was important to bring the character back and tell her story.
Lawrence As Scarlet Witch
While some people don’t like Lawrence in the role of Mystique, I find her to be perfect for it, as she has demonstrated in her last two X-Men films and recently in X-Men: Apocalypse. If she wasn’t Mystique, I could totally see her playing as Scarlet Witch in Fox’s X-Men universe. The reason I say Fox’s is to not confuse you with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Scarlet Witch played by Elizabeth Olsen.
It is the case that both Fox and Marvel are able to use Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in their movies, as we saw Quicksilver present in both Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and in Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past played by Evan Peters (Ironically, they both played important roles in the superhero movie Kick-Ass, Johnson as the protagonist and Peters as the protagonist’s best friend).
Scarlet Witch could’ve being introduced in any of the earlier X-Men films, and I think Jennifer Lawrence would’ve cast perfectly for the role.
Jennifer Lawrence’s inclusion in the new line of X-Men films is definitely important, but even if she had never cast for them, I think the movies would've succeeded regardless, due to the other great actors and actresses they have, such as Michael Fassbender (Magneto), James McAvoy (Professor Xavier), and Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde). They would’ve indeed succeeded, but in part I think Lawrence gives it that extra push.
#1 in Hollywood
Jennifer Lawrence was the top-paid actress in Hollywood from 2014 to 2015 according to Forbes, which probably, but not necessarily, made her the top-paid actress in X-Men: Days of Future Past. If Fox is paying her top dollar, then she is definitely getting the job done, performance-wise and market-wise.
Jennifer Lawrence, The X-Woman
I’m one that thinks that Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. Her unique portrayal of Mystique is incredible and I can’t imagine another actress in that role. She has entered that special group of actors and actresses who were born to play their characters; like Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine.