Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique from “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is front and center on the cover of this week’s EW, which is rolling out its sprawling Summer Preview. It’s cool that when Lawrence shares the cover with A-listers Hugh Jackman and Michael Fassbender, she’s still the centerpiece. Thanks to her other franchise, “The Hunger Games,” she’s arguably the biggest star of X-Men.
In that vein, X-Men producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg are considering spinoffs for the various characters, especially Lawrence as the slinky blue Mystique. Kinberg told EW, “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.”
The latest superhero mashup, this one bringing together the young and older versions of all the X-Men characters, arrives May 23. The “X-Men” franchise has amassed about $2.3 billion worldwide. That number sounds big until you compare it to “The Avengers,” which alone hauled in $1.5 billion. (EW calls the numbers for “X-Men” “good but not great”.) So there’s pressure on this new sequel/prequel to rope in a large audience.
Below, quotes from EW’s interview with director Bryan Singer, along with Shuler Donner and Kinberg.
Singer on the challenge of the X-Men characters’ popularity in the mainstream:
“Everyone grew up knowing Captain America or the Hulk, but not X-Men characters—I didn’t even know who Wolverine was,” Singer says. “I call X-Men the bastard stepchild of the comic universes.”
Donner on the pressure of this new installment to deliver:
“We have to deliver, and that’s really hard,” says Lauren
Shuler Donner, who’s produced all of the X-Men films. “Plus, we don’t use guns,
we use powers. The power is a visual effect. So by its very nature it’s going
to be pricey.”
Kinberg on spinoffs:
hope is that Days of Future Past will broaden the audience for X-Men such that
it will motivate potential spin-offs even more.”