Jubilee just can't get a break. The mutant youngster was a key part of the X-Men during their comic book prime in the early '90s and helped launch the super popular animated cartoon series (which to this day still has the greatest theme song ever). In the main live-action X-Men movies she's almost had a notable role in every installment. Jubilee was even intended to be one of the future surviving mutants in X-Men: Days of Future Past as revealed by some very cool concept art but alas, it wasn't to be.
She had scenes cut in most of the mainline present-day X-movies including those which showcased her mutant powers. In X2: X-Men United for instance, an early sequence saw her spark up her abilities in a museum but it didn't make the final cut. And of course, this year with the appropriately '80s set X-Men: Apocalypse, director Bryan Singer and company went all-out in re-introducing Jubilation Lee with her iconic yellow jacket and big shades... but again, her best scenes and those featuring a tease of her powers were sadly cut.
In fact, arguably one of the best parts of the movie, when the younger mutants go to the mall, was mostly cut but is available as a special feature on the X-Men: Apocalypse Blu-ray and DVD which releases today (with a cool collectible steelbook edition exclusively available at Best Buy). In that scene Jubilee, played by Lana Condor, users her powers as well.
To promote the home video release of Apocalypse, Fox invited us to Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Canada, the location used for the X-Men mansion in the very first X-Men movie and again for exterior shots in this year's Deadpool. While there we spoke with Condor who was as excited about the character and franchise as she was when our own Andrew Dyce spoke with her on the set of X-Men: Apocalypse last summer. The first thing I asked her is why Jubilee keeps having her role cut back and her powers never displayed.
"I don't know who's fault it is. I hope it's not my fault! [laughs]
In the next one, we have to see her bust out the fireworks, right?
"Lana Condor: If they have another one and I'm lucky enough to be in it, I would love for just like a massive moment where we finally know what her powers are and what they look like. And she unleashes like the Phoenix! Awww, that would be awesome!"
At the end of X-Men: Apocalypse the new class of mutants suit up in their retro-inspired costumes for a Danger Room training session but Jubilee sadly isn't there. Do you think she's a character who can suit up for field duty eventually?
"Lana Condor: Oh, absolutely I can! That's so funny you said that because Evan [Peters], me, Alex [Schipp], Tye [Sheridan], we were doing this junket all together and everyone was talking about that scene, and I was so left out! I didn't know what to do, I just like sat there and was like 'uh, guys, it's great to know what this scene was like. I wasn't there.' But I would love to suit up. Umm... that was cool saying that. 'Suit up!' [Laughs] That'd be amazing."
When joining a franchise like this with so many other tie-ins and spinoffs in development, including another from Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg, is Jubilee a character we'll see in something like New Mutants?
"Lana Condor: I've read blogs about it, rumors type of thing. I would love to be in it. No one has told me anything... for this exact reason, but I would love to be a part of it. I don't even... It's still going to be part of the franchise... I don't know anything about it."
For fun, what are your thoughts on current Marvel Comics Jubilee where she's become a vampire?
"I think that's amazing. I don't do well with blood so we're gonna have to figure that one out [laughs]. We get to meet her in [X-Men: Apocalypse] but I still think she should be as she is if there were to be a next one and then maybe later on become a vampire. We still don't know enough about her as young Jubilee, right? But ya, as a vampire that'd be cool. A little weird, but cool [laughs.]
We also spoke about the cast and how she wants to work with Olivia Munn who she didn't get to share screen time with in X-Men: Apocalypse. As a fan of the character, I asked Lana what she likes most about Jubilee outside of her powers and costume.
"She's super independent and I'm going about it like she doesn't care what anyone thinks about her. And confident. She's 16 years old and so I'd love for other 16 year-olds or teenagers to see that. I think she's a role model, you know? Be yourself, don't give an F about what anyone thinks about you because the only opinion that matters is your own. I like her a lot."
Should Jubilee and other young mutants from X-Men: Apocalypse return for New Mutants if its set shortly after in the timeline? Should Jubilee get to join Mystique and Professor X's superhero team and go on missions? Share your thoughts in the comments!
X-Men: Apocalypse is available on Digital HD and now on Blu-ray and DVD.