The MCU Could Introduce an Older Mystique: Why It Works

Mystique has been a prominent figure in most of the X-Men movies under Fox. Portrayed by Rebecca Romijn in the first trilogy, and then by Jennifer Lawrence, the character has remained pivotal to the landscape. Often teaming with Magneto, Mystique can be deceptive and manipulative, unpredictable, and cynical. Yet, every so often, she does what’s right; every so often, she stands up for a worthy cause. 

Rebecca Romijn Mystique X-Men
Rebecca Romijn in a scene from the film ‘X-Men’, 2000 | 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

Both Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence came to play Mystique in their 20s, as young women. Both actresses played the mature, sexualized character, while still retaining a youthful essence. The Fox depictions allowed for a degree of naivete and uncertainty to slip through the cracks. The character would often seize control, merely to face an opponent who discovered a way to one-up the dubious shapeshifter. 

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduces the character, her role in the franchise may contrast Fox’s former depiction. Based on recently released information, she could come into the landscape as a leader — an older, wiser, and more mature character (with a teenaged daughter in the fray). 

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How Mystique will presumably join the MCU

Based on insider reports, Rogue will join the MCU as an adversary in Captain Marvel 2; she will be one of the first mutants to appear in the franchise. Rogue will likely provide a link to the Brotherhood of Mutants since she is Mystique’s daughter in the comic books. And, Mystique comes to lead her own Brotherhood, consisting of Rogue, Pyro, The Blob, Avalanche, and Destiny. 

Rogue’s entrance in Captain Marvel 2 points to one particular comic book saga — the one in which Mystique discovers (via a prophecy) that Captain Marvel will try to kill her daughter, Rogue. Mystique then sets off on a long-winding and neverending mission to ensure that such a sequence of events never transpires. Rogue winds up stepping up to the plate as well, resulting in quite the three-way conflict. 

If Rogue is mature enough to fight for herself, and Mystique joins the landscape as a maternal figure, casting a 20-year-old, still unsure of who or what to fight for, would be a non-sequitur. Thus, Mystique will likely be a bit older this time around — maybe a mother in her 40s or 50s, allowing a different characterization (one filled with more wisdom and life lessons) to define the character (outside of a sexualized Catwoman-esque illustration). 

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Who could play an older Mystique in the MCU? 

It’s about time a woman over 40 plays Mystique. Women over 40 still have much to offer, and Hollywood needs to quit reducing such actresses to supporting roles — “right for their age.” An older illustration will breathe new life into Mystique, allowing Kevin Feige to break away from Fox, and avoid mere mimicry. Yet, who would be best for the job? 

Thinking of the perfect Mystique is not easy, as it’s no easy character to carry. Cate Blanchett could maybe do it, but she portrays Hela in Thor. Halle Berry could work too, but she was Storm in X-Men. Cameron Diaz or Amy Adams could also work, as could Catherine Zeta-Jones or Jennifer Connelly. Nia Long could also be a good fit. Or, if the MCU really wants to go for a change of pace, they could make Mystique a man, and make him Rogue’s father. Is that asking for too much?