After appearing in six movies — and being played by two different actors — the X-Men movies might have another breakout character, with director and franchise head honcho Bryan Singer suggesting that it might be time for Mystique to receive her own film.
Talking during an appearance on Empire's podcast, Singer said that the character — who was played by Rebecca Romijn in the original X-Men trilogy and Jennifer Lawrence in the last three installments — would make for an ideal stand-alone movie, no matter who plays her. (Lawrence, for her part, has suggested that she might not return to the role after the current X-Men: Apocalypse.)
"I think [Mystique's] right for [a solo movie], whether it's Jennifer or not," said Singer, explaining that the character "has this different view of the world. Xavier can get into Cerebro and look at the world but he'd rather just teach classes and see the beauty of mutants and humans co-existing in his mansion in Westchester. Along comes Raven with a reality check on the state of the world. It opens up a lot of avenues."
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A "reality check on the state of the world" might not be the way that comic book fans would describe the character, who debuted in 1978's Ms. Marvel No. 16; traditionally, the comic book version of the character has been an outright villain, recurring in multiple X-Men-related series including Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine and X-Factor with complicated relationships with many of the core mutant heroes. (She has been romantically linked to both Professor Xavier and Wolverine in the comics, and was eventually revealed to be the mother of Nightcrawler as well as the adoptive mother of Rogue.)
Outside of her familial relationships, the comic book Mystique headlined her own series from 2004 through 2005, wherein she served the greater good of mutantkind as well as her own agenda for two years. This solo run is an anomaly, however, which points to a potential problem for any solo movie: that the character is, more often than not, a team player...; or, at least, someone who surrounds herself with fall guys to blame things on when it all goes inevitably wrong.
In the 30-plus years since she was created, the comic book Mystique has been a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Freedom Force, the X-Men, X-Factor, the short-lived anti-hero team "Dark X-Men" and even the Avengers for a brief time. (Additionally, she's also served time with the ninja clan The Hand and secret government agencies for both the U.S. and Israel at one point or another.) While this opens up a treasure trove of potential stories for filmmakers, it also illustrates that Mystique works best when surrounded by others ...; which might make a solo movie somewhat trickier.
Of course, this may all be academic; not only is Singer offering his opinion instead of announcing an actual in-the-works project, but there are multiple X-movies in line ahead of any possible Mystique solo movie, including Hugh Jackman's final Wolverine and Channing Tatum's debut as Gambit, not to mention a second Deadpool, a potential further X-Men movie and the in-process New Mutants.
Unless, of course, Mystique is going to star in one of those projects and no one knows it yet. After all, she can look like anyone else. Mystique in disguise as Charles Xavier as the stealth lead of New Mutants, anybody...;?