Following the trend of making announcements via social media, Bryan Singer posted on Instragram that Olivia Munn will be joining the cast of X-Men: Apocalypse as Betsy Braddock, AKA Psylocke.
Initial thoughts: okay this is super friggin’ cool because Psylocke is hugely recognizable in the comics but not so much in any other media adaptations. She’s an awesome fighter, rocks some sweet purple hair, and is an openly bisexual character. How could you not love her?!
…Well, actually, there’s a bit of controversy regarding Psylocke’s origins but the casting of Olivia Munn circumvents the majority of that problem.
So, Betsy Braddock is the twin sister of Brian Braddock, AKA Captain Britain. So, duh, she’s English. Below left, you can see Betsy’s first appearance from 1976. At the right, Psylocke as she’s most widely known.
See the difference?
After developing her abilities and joining the X-Men, something happened to Psylocke. Following a perilous battle she washed up on a beach with amnesia. She got kidnapped by a Japanese crime lord who wanted to keep his assassin girlfriend Kwannon alive by switching their minds into each other other’s bodies. He was deceived, however. Kwannon and Betsy were spliced, both body and mind. They had more or less the same abilities and memories, but more of Betsy was now in the Asian body, and Kwannon in the Caucasian one.
Obviously, casting-wise, this character could’ve been a disaster. But Olivia Munn has parents of Chinese and English descent, and was primarily raised in Tokyo, Japan. So as long as the Apocalypse script doesn’t involve any bodyswapping, I think a cinematic Psylocke will work out really well! …No, I don’t count that side character in X-Men: The Last Stand. I don’t count anything from The Last Stand.
I guess the important question now is, does Munn have the acting chops? I confess I haven’t seen any of her work outside her host/interviewer jobs and her role in Iron Man 2. I’ve heard good things about her role in The Newsroom. Anyone care to enlighten me? Share your thoughts in the comments!