After X-Men Apocalypse, the general belief was that Fox would not renew the contracts of the core X-Men cast members introduced in X-Men: First Class, instead moving onto a new generation of actors to play the titular mutants. In fact, back in November, the franchise was rumored for a complete reboot. However, a lot can change in just a few months. For example, we now know that X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be released next Summer, taking another stab at the storyline that was so memorably handled in X-Men: The Last Stand, and that it will most likely star Sophie Turner as the titular bird-themed cosmic death goddess. Now, it seems that there's a good chance that cast members like Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and James McAvoy, amongst others, could return as well.
At least, the story is being written with the assumption that those characters will be available, according to producer Hutch Parker. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Parker said:
I'd rather not confirm any of those officially, but yes, the current story that we're working on has that group involved as well as some of the younger characters that we introduced last time.
Emboldened by the candid response, CinemaBlend even pressed further, asking if Rogue could be involved in the movie, to which Parker responded:
We're all sorting out exactly which mutants will be part of it, and which ones won't. It is a bit more expansive than… obviously Logan was a bit more intimate of a story. This one's a bit more expansive, and you know the comics, so you know how and why. We're still kind of sorting that through.
As for Fassbender's Magneto, last year, Fassbender was on record as being noncommittal about returning to the franchise, saying:
I don't know to be honest. I haven't made any sort of decision on it because I have no idea what's happening next with the franchise to be honest.
But in a recent interview with Collider, Fassbender had changed his tune, now ruling a return "likely":
"Possibly," Fassbender said when asked about a return. "Yeah, likely."
As for Lawrence, back in December, she explicitly said she would not play Mystique again in the X-Men movies, though she would be willing to play Mystique in Guardians of the Galaxy. Since a crossover between Fox and Marvel's cinematic universes isn't planned in the new future, that seems unlikely. Lawrence hasn't gone on record as changing her stance yet.
And finally, James McAvoy has been rumored to be returning to the X-Men universe since January, when Anya Taylor-Joy, who was at that time rumored but not officially cast as Magik in New Mutants (she is now officially cast), let slip:
I mean, I think James is already a part of it, isn't he?
But following recent casting announcements for New Mutants, we learned that McAvoy is not currently planned for that movie. Does that mean we could see him in Dark Phoenix instead?
A lot is still subject to change, of course, and we like to hedge our bets with rumors so we can claim we were right no matter what, but it does look promising. We'll keep you posted.