Jennifer Lawrence’s Not-Really-a-Problem Problem: X-Men or Hunger Games Sequels?

Catching Fire Novel CoverWith Gary Ross’ “The Hunger Games” poised to break the bank and all signs pointing to a major movie franchise is in the makings, its star Jennifer Lawrence is about to become a big-time household name. Which means, of course, everyone wants her, but they’ll have to get in line, because Lionsgate, the studio behind “Hunger Games”, and Fox, the studio behind “X-Men: First Class” have first dibs.

And of the two, Fox apparently has the first of the first dibs.

So what’s the issue? Well, Lionsgate wants to start shooting the sequel to “The Hunger Games”, “Catching Fire” as early as this summer for a November 2013 release. Fox, meanwhile, may be eyeballing a Fall date for the sequel to “X-Men: First Class”. (Then again, this being Fox, where dragging one’s feet has become an art form, who knows when they’ll finally get around to their sequel, so this whole article could be moot.)

This isn’t really a problem, but The Hollywood Reporter is treating it like it’s a potential problem. When, you know, it’s not. The fact is, Jennifer Lawrence will end up doing the sequels to “The Hunger Games” first if the schedule conflicts with a sequel to “X-Men: First Class”, or anything else that might pop up.

It’s easy to understand why: she’s the star of “The Hunger Games” franchise, whereas in “X-Men: First Class” she’s just another cog in the machine. And her character on the Matthew Vaughn movie (and upcoming sequel) is a shapeshifter, no less, so recasting her in the role is as simple as it gets from both a casting and a story angle. No one would cry foul except maybe Fox suits that might want a more beefed up role for Lawrence. But then again, I don’t see Vaughn agreeing to something like that if it doesn’t serve the story, and the “X-Men” franchise has never been about the chick in the blue bodypaint.

So, yeah, I don’t really see much of a problem here, but hey, even industry trade websites have to grab impressions, right? After all, can you really tell that’s Lawrence under all that blue goop?