‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ to Add New Focus to These 2 Characters

Source: 20th Century Fox

X-Men: Apocalypse is still almost two full years away, but it seems the direction of the story is starting to take shape. Co-writer and producer Simon Kinberg, who also worked on the last installment of the franchise, Days of Future Past, recently delved into more detail about the upcoming flick, revealing that viewers should expect to see new focus on two characters in particular.

While the rocky friendship between Professor Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fessbender) has been an ongoing and integral theme throughout the franchise, Kinberg also confirmed to Collider that this next film will further explore the relationship between Beast (Nicholas Hoult) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence). X-Men fans will remember that the two mutants struck up a close friendship-turned-budding romance in First Class while training at Xavier’s school at the same time. But in Days of Future Past, the two had significantly less interaction. Now, it seems the focus is shifting back once again.

“I think that the friendship between Erik and Charles, which has always been so integral to the franchise, is something we’re continuing to explore and hopefully deepen with Apocalypse. And the relationship between Beast and Mystique is a really interesting one that we didn’t have a lot of time to explore in Days of Future Past,” Kinberg told Collider. “We’ll have an opportunity to do more of that in Apocalypse.”

Mystique, in particular, will be getting a lot more screen time. Though Kinberg stopped short of saying the movie would single out any one character — similar to the way First Class focused on Erik and Days of Future Past focused on Charles — the producer confirmed that the film will be exploring the story of Lawrence’s shape-shifting character beyond just her relationship with Beast.

The upcoming movie, which Bryan Singer will be returning to helm, will also reportedly be taking a look at how Mystique was impacted by the influences of both Erik and Charles. “Part of what’s really interesting about Mystique’s character is that she is, in some ways, the child of both Erik and Charles,” Kinberg explained. “She grew up with Charles and then she sort of became a woman with Erik, so her being the cross-pollination, if you will, of those two philosophies and those two men is something we can explore in the movie too.”

The increasing importance of Mystique to the movie is notable, especially given that Kinberg has since confirmed Apocalypse will mark the close of a trilogy for the First Class characters. Though other female mutants like Storm and Jean have gotten significant screen time earlier in the franchise, Mystique (originally played by Rebecca Romijn) didn’t seem to be as influential a character in the first few films. The casting of Lawrence definitely helped change that, adding a lot more impact — and star power — to the character. It’s not surprising that the X-Men producers would want to push more focus onto her, given the actress’s huge popularity. Already, her portrayal of the character has been getting increasingly more screen time over the last two movies, and the trend is set to continue.

The move has fans wondering whether the increasing focus on Mystique will help set up a standalone movie for the character, a possibility that has been rumored for some time now. Kinsberg has already discussed how much he enjoys writing for Lawrence, telling Entertainment Weekly earlier this year, “I love what Jen Lawrence has done with her, and I feel like because she is in such a crowded ensemble, there’s so much more opportunity if you were to follow her solo.”

Viewers will have to stay tuned to see if the possibility ever moves past a rumor stage. Either way, Kinsberg maintains that the door is open for Mystique and the rest of the First Class characters to appear in future movies, even if this is the last official film for them. X-Men: Apocalypse will hit theaters on May 18, 2016.

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