Despite the diminishing returns of the X-Men series, they have accomplished at least one inarguably impressive feat: taking a supporting antagonist like Mystique and transforming her into a great, complex leading character, worthy of her place in Apocalypse as a mutant role model to Xavier’s gifted youngsters. But is she worthy of her own standalone movie? Bryan Singer certainly thinks so, though he seems to be taking Jennifer Lawrence’s contributions to the character for granted.

Credit where credit’s due: Matthew Vaughn reinvigorated the X-Men franchise with First Class, which introduced Jennifer Lawrence as young Raven, aka Mystique. But it was mostly Lawrence who suddenly made Mystique the most interesting character of the franchise.

As Singer tells Empire, she’s the sort of character that would make for a great spinoff — with or without Lawrence’s involvement:

I think [Mystique’s] right for [a standalone], whether it’s Jennifer [Lawrence] or not. She 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.

Would a Mystique film work without Jennifer Lawrence? It largely depends on who they find to replace her in this hypothetical solo project. But Singer’s comments are particularly notable in light of Apocalypse, which competes with The Last Stand for the title of most tone-deaf, bland and uninteresting film of the franchise.

When Singer returned to the franchise for Days of Future Past, he delivered a solid — if not nearly as good — follow-up to Vaughn’s First Class, offering some optimism about his continued involvement. But just as the previous trilogy crashed hard with The Last Stand (which Singer didn’t direct), the current X-Men run may have bottomed out with Apocalypse.

So his comments about a potential Mystique spinoff with or without Jennifer Lawrence sort of speak to Singer’s overall approach to the franchise and its fans — which is that we don’t really care who’s in it or what it looks like as long as it’s X-Men and he’s involved in some way. And that’s kind of the problem with Apocalypse.

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