With X-Men: Apocalypse opening this weekend, moviegoers have been exposed to plenty of promotion for the film. Videos, stills and set photos included images of Jubilee (Lana Condor), the bubbly, Asian-American Beverly Hills teen whose fireworks-like mutant skill is as flashy as her '80s/'90s neon wardrobe.
The character had previous appearances in the original X-Men movie trilogy, but her role largely ended up on the cutting room floor. Fans who were still feeling nostalgic about the 90s X-men cartoon version of Jubilee were excited by the prospect of her finally having a larger part in the action in Apocalypse. Now it looks like they will be disappointed once again.
Despite Condor's assertion that she'd serve as a sort of "comic relief" in the film, early reviews have noted she hardly seems to be in it at all. Now writer/director Bryan Singer has revealed to Fandango that the scene where Jubilee actually uses her powers will only be on the DVD release. He added that he wanted "more Jubilee," but had to make sacrifices for the overall good of the film.
"It's strange for the audience sometimes because they say, 'It's a good scene, why did you remove it?' But if you sat in a theater and watched it with all those scenes back in, it may seem good, but slow. And I don't want the audience to feel that."
Singer had previously revealed that an earlier version of the script didn't even include Jubilee, so it makes sense that her scenes might be the ones that didn't fit the flow as well as others. With X-Men: Days of Future Past, Singer included an extended version of the film that restored much of Anna Paquin’s scenes as Rogue. The director says that unfortunately won't be the case with Jubilee and other deleted sequences in Apocalypse.
"There will be nothing like the Rogue Cut or anything like that. I'm not a big fan of director's cuts or extended editions, I never have been. In the case of Apocalypse, I removed what would be considered a conventional amount from the movie to protect what we call the collective experience of the feature theatrically. How it feels pace wise and movement wise."
The caveat is that the Apocalypse Blu-ray could include a way to insert the missing scenes into the finished film. This would lend them more context, but without smooth transitions it will be a less satisfying result than an actual director's cut would be.
While those who consider Jubilee a B-team-level X-Man at best won't likely miss her presence on the big screen, fans of the character still have some hope for the future. Singer had wanted the young Jubilee in Apocalypse because he considers her "a part of the growing new universe." While the theatrical release may not give a full picture of the character's big screen potential, the DVD scenes will reveal if her amped up electrical powers make her an exciting enough addition to include in any future X-men films.
X-Men: Apocalypse opens in U.S. theaters 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 (possible New Mutants). X-Force is also in development.