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Fox Schedules ‘X-Men: First Class’ Sequel to Avoid ‘Hunger Games’ Conflict

Jennifer Lawrence
20th Century Fox/Lionsgate

There’s a new rule in Hollywood: if you make a franchise picture, you’re going to be signed to a multiple-picture contract. For Jennifer Lawrence, it may have been the price to pay for both ‘X-Men: First Class‘ and ‘The Hunger Games.‘ Who knew both would generate sequels? There was squabbling between 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate about who could have her first for their sequels, but it seems that argument is over. ‘X-Men: First Class 2′ (or whatever it’s called) will start shooting in January.

That also means that ‘Hunger’s’ Sequel ‘Catching Fire’ will shoot in the fall of next year. This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, and it’s both good and bad news. For ‘X-Men’ what’s troubling about this is that ‘First Class’ was obviously rushed into and out of production. Even the DVD and Blu-ray have some mostly finished effects shots, and that’s because director Matthew Vaughn had been given a short schedule. It seems bad to force that on him again, though they’ve surely had some time to hash out the sequel.

This also means that Lawrence is going to be locked up for the next couple years between these two franchises. At this point – even with Gary Ross’s currently unfinished contract negotiations for the next film – Lionsgate is surely prepping to film all of the ‘Hunger Games’ novels as quickly as possible, and possibly turning one or more of the books into two-parters. Fox has Lawrence under a sequel film contract (which could be three films or even more), and that suggests she could be pinging back and forth between these sequels. Post-’Hunger Games,’ expect her role in the ‘X-Men’ sequel to be bumped up accordingly.

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