Olivia Munn will join the ranks of Fox's long-running X-Men universe by bringing the purple-clad ninja Psylocke to life in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. It will be her first role in a big budget super hero movie and from everything that has been seen from the character in previews and TV spots, Betsy Braddock has a few impressive action sequences in store for fans. Appearing in an X-Men movie is obviously a big move for Munn, who has previously had roles in HBO's The Newsroom, Magic Mike, and this year's Ride Along 2 with Kevin Hart. But as it turns out, the actress nearly made her super hero debut a few months earlier.
Apparently, Munn was offered a chance to act alongside Ryan Reynolds in this year's mega-successful Deadpool, as none other than Wade Wilson's onscreen love interest Vanessa. And while the role certainly would have given her a massive box-office success under her belt, the actress ultimately passed on the opportunity to appear in Apocalypse.
Munn spoke about what went into her decision at length with American Way Magazine, specifically touching on why the Psylocke character intrigued her more. According to the article, Munn became disinterested the Deadpool partly because it would require her to play the girlfriend role. Instead, the actress was drawn to Psylocke for the sole reason that she would get to fight, and to kick a little butt. In fact, when she was offered the role of the sword-loving telepath, the filmmakers told her it was driven more by physicality than dialogue -- something Munn says she was fine with, especially since the character has "an important presence" and it could lead to something more down the road.
Munn goes on to say:
"I thought Psylocke was always one of the most lethal characters, and I said, ‘Yes, as long as you’re not using her to be the eye candy. She has really powerful abilities."
Munn is at a point in her career where she can afford to take chances on roles like Psylocke, as character’s like Deadpool’s Vanessa are far more available. It appears that Psylocke is the kind of character Munn has been longing to play and show audiences she is capable of delivering a physically strong character onscreen. So, even if Deadpool ends up being the more-successful X-Men film, that won’t matter, as it was always about what kind of character Munn wanted to represent and would show her in a different light.
Still, with Deadpool’s success, there has to be more pressure for X-Men: Apocalypse to thrive, so Munn can play the role again in later films. With any luck, the film will be a success and her role in it will be met with audience approval, so she has the chance to once again play a role as unique and powerful as Psylocke.
X-Men: Apocalypse will see theatrical release in the U.S. on May 27th, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.
Source: American Way Magazine