Impatient as X-Men fans no doubt are to find out what the young versions of Storm, Jean Grey and Cyclops will be like in X-Men: Apocalypse, actors Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan probably aren’t the best people to ask. The three young stars were cast only a few weeks ago, and it’s unlikely that any of them have even read the script yet, let alone been given a clear idea of how director Bryan Singer will want to portray Professor Xavier’s young protégés.
That doesn’t mean that Shipp, Turner and Sheridan aren’t going to be bombarded with questions anyway; particularly in Turner’s case, as over the next few months she’ll be meeting with press to help promote the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones. HBO’s tearaway historical fantasy success was Turner’s first on-screen role, and after playing Sansa Stark for four years she’s easily the most well-known of the three new additions to X-Men: Apocalypse‘s cast.
“I think maybe one of the reasons that they chose me for [Jean] is because they saw the dark side of Sansa,” Turner told IGN. “Maybe they’re thinking, ‘Oh, Phoenix, Jean Grey.’ I definitely see a lot of parallels in there.” Turner is referring to Sansa’s story arc in Game of Thrones‘ fourth season, which culminated in her finally being able to shed her punching bag status by embracing Littlefinger’s questionable morals (and getting a cool new outfit).
In both the comics and the X-Men films so far Jean Grey has only been reborn as Phoenix after dying, and the fact that the storyline has been covered in a previous movie makes it unlikely that we’ll see anything other than the regular version of the character in X-Men: Apocalypse. There’s still a lot of conflict to be mined from Jean Grey, though, as Turner says that she sees her as “struggl[ing] with her power… and not being accepted in the human world.”
Jean Grey was last seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past, when Famke Janssen returned to the series for a brief scene towards the end of the movie. Turner explained that she’s interested in bridging the gap between the version of Jean Grey that audiences are familiar with and the awkward teenage version of the character.
“I think Famke played Jean incredibly well, but also, I’m playing a younger version of her… I want to emulate Famke in a sense, because she has to seem like the Jean in the first two movies, but I’m also going to put my own twist on her. I think I’m also going to take inspiration from the comics.”
Turner only has until X-Men: Apocalypse‘s April production start date to dig through the X-Men comics for inspiration, but there has already been an overwhelmingly positive response to her being cast in the role and she should make for a compelling young Jean.
X-Men: Apocalypse arrives in theaters on May 27th, 2016.
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