Plenty of fan-favorite X-Men characters are set to make their feature film debut in X-Men: Apocalypse, but few have been as long-awaited as Olivia Munn’s Psylocke. One of the most popular X-Men players from the franchise’s ultra-fertile 80s and 90s heyday, and one of Marvel’s most prominent female characters, many fans had long felt that Psylocke’s convoluted backstory would prevent her from ever properly translating to screen. But one way or another, she’ll be there when Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27th.
Munn, who has a prolific social-media presence, has been recently bullish about promoting her role – and she just dropped a new image and some bold predictions to prove it.
Tweeting from Twitter’s HQ in San Francisco, Munn took questions from fans about the film’s plans for Psylocke and the manner in which the character would be portrayed; at one point opting to address concerns about the character’s voice – specifically, that she won’t be attempting an English accent in her and director Bryan Singer’s new conception of the role:
This news may be controversial among fans hoping to see the character retain key aspects of her comic book backstory. Originally, Psylocke was a British woman named Betsy Braddock, the psychic twin sister of the UK-based Marvel superhero Captain Britain, later integrated into the X-Men menagerie by co-creator Chris Claremont. Through a series of storylines involving inter-dimensional abduction, bionic eyeballs and mystical ninja body-switching, her consciousness was transferred into the body of a brain-dead female member of The Hand (yes, the ninjas from Daredevil); leaving her appearing to be a Japanese woman with the mind and voice of a British woman for the majority of her existence as a character.
That aspect of her backstory has been called problematic by many, and it does not appear that the version being played by Munn (who is of Vietnamese and American descent) is embracing those particular eccentricities. However, Munn was quick to assure fans that she will be retaining the character’s penchant for big-scale fight scenes:
In fact, she believes that her character would prove a formidable opponent for one beloved X-Men hero, specifically thanks to Psylocke’s signature “psionic blades” (i.e. “knives” made of concentrated psychic energy):
Two blades? Sounds interesting, and like Wolverine definitely could be formidably matched in combat. In the comics, Psylocke has been known to also utilize psychic blasts, telekinesis and a “katana” variation on the psionic/psychic blade concept.
While these answers give fans plenty to anticipate, Munn had a final new piece of information to share: a new shot of herself in Psylocke’s costume, looking ready for battle against an unidentified cityscape:
Granted, some fans are likely to still be skeptical of whether a character with as bizarre and often controversial a backstory as Psylocke can be properly translated to the screen as part of the current X-Men iteration, but thus far the character appears to be in good hands. The final product will tell the tale, certainly, but Munn is clearly enthusiastic and committed to the role; and given that this was the franchise that gave the superhero genre its infamous “yellow spandex” joke, a surprisingly strong effort looks to have been made at keeping the character’s iconic but impractical-looking traditional costume as intact as possible. A lot of this is going to come down to Munn’s performance, which is difficult to gauge as she has not been prominently featured in the trailers thus far and has previously been known mainly as a TV host and comedian rather than a dramatic actress or action star.
Deadpool opens in theaters February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and an unannounced X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.
Source: Olivia Munn (via Twitter)