Throughout the original X-Men movies there have been two truths: 1) Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is the real star, and 2) the relationship between Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier and Ian McKellen’s Magneto provided most of the emotional core. So when the X-Men franchise got a pre-Wolverine soft reboot with X-Men: First Class, it’s not surprise that the Xavier/Magneto relationship became the focal point with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender taking over the parts.
Of course that was waaaay back in 2011. And unfortunately for McAvoy and Fassbender, one of the First Class bit players has gone on to earn three Oscar nominations, one Oscar win and anchor the current most successful film franchise out there.
The X-Men producers are clearly not idiots so it is not a huge surprise to hear X-Men Apocalypse screenwriter Simon Kinberg (in an interview with Collider’s Adam Chitwood) drop the news that Jennifer Lawrence’s character Mystique would be taking center stage in the sequel to this year’s Days of Future Past. According to Kinberg, there will be more exploration of Mystique herself and her relationship with Nicholas Hoult’s Beast.
Jennifer Lawrence is about as sure a bet as there is in Hollywood right now so a marketing push around her instead of McAvoy and Fassbender who are liked but not on anywhere near the same level makes sense. A promotional campaign around the Hunger Games star sounds a lot more bankable than posters focused on the stars of Filth and Frank.
The shorthand here is that studios like money and make decisions that lead to additional money. It will be interesting to see if the film (to be directed by Bryan Singer) can capture the fun of the most recent entry.