On Monday, director Bryan Singer revealed on Instagram that he had cast Newsroom star Olivia Munn as Psylocke in the upcoming reboot/sequel X-Men: Apocalypse. And if you’re wondering, Pyslocke was previously portrayed by Mei Melançon in X-Men: The Last Stand, but everyone knows that movie doesn’t count (and after the events of the last X-Men movie, none of the other ones do either).
Due in theaters next year, Apocalypse continues the period-set aesthetic of the new X-Men franchise. While First Class was set in the 1960s and Days of Future Past in the 1970s, Apocalypse will take place during the 1980s, which is fitting since that’s the time period that saw Betsy Braddock go from a supporting role in Captain Britain to a full-fledged member of the X-Men. She’s also one of the first characters to undergo a convoluted, but canonical, race swap in the pages of the comic.
Anyway, some of the Nerds convened around the old Roundtable to talk about Olivia’s casting in the next X-Men film.
KEITH: I’m all for more Asian American superheroes on screen, so having Olivia Munn as Psylocke — and Lana Condor as Jubilee — in the next X-film is great. But to be honest, I don’t really care about X-Men: Apocalypse in any significant way. But yay for Olivia. Maybe she’s slowly joining the rank of A-List movie stars?
SHAWN: She really can’t act, though.
VALERIE: She’s OK. I doubt she will be doing a lot of talking. But then again, it is Bryan Singer.
VINCENT: I wanna hear her British accent doe…
VALERIE: Watch the trailer for Mortdecai, she’s in that doing an accent.
KEITH: Actually, I think Olivia is playing an American in that movie, but not sure because I didn’t see it — neither did anyone else, but that’s neither her nor there.
VINCENT: I checked out that Mortdecai jump off, not the best but, like, the whole movie wasn’t for me.
KEITH: My only concern is that Olivia will exist in two different Marvel Cinematic Universes since she was in Iron Man 2! I mean, how is that even possible?!?!
EDWARD: To those who say Olivia can’t act, I suggest you guys check her performance in The Newsroom. She’s becoming a better actress over the years (let’s forget about Mortdecai however; everybody sucked balls in that). I’m also severely biased as I worked with her before on New Girl, so I’ve been crushing on her for many years.
VALERIE: I thought she was okay in Deliver is from Evil, too. I don’t think she is bad. It’s just that I knew we weren’t going to get a full Asian actress for the role, but I guess they tried. Progress?
EDWARD: At least Jubilee is full Asian?
VALERIE: Touche! I didn’t think lighting would strike twice! I really don’t think she is a bad choice. At least she knows the genre. And I think she’s pretty familiar with the character.
KEITH: She definitely has the geek cred.
SHAWN: But she has the charisma of avocado skin. Betsy is supposed to be regal, royal, and arrogant. Not sure how surfer-girl is going to pull that off.
EDWARD: Well, in the world we live in, we just call that acting.
SHAWN: If she could act, then, yeah…
EDWARD: She’s no Helen Mirren, but she can act. I know for sure she can act a LOT better than Halle Berry so…
SHAWN: Halle has the Oscar.
KEITH: Well, if Bryan Singer’s experience with Halle in the past has proven anything, it’s that Oscar-winning talent doesn’t guarantee anything in a Bryan Singer movie.
VINCENT: Edward is right, Olivia was the shit in The Newsroom, but so was the whole cast really because the dialogue was on point, I thought.
EDWARD: No point in hating until we see the movie and see how they do.
SHAWN: There are so many better choices.
EDWARD: Let’s wait for the movie to come out to decide on that.
SHAWN: You riding real hard for her. Personal connection?
EDWARD: This is coming from the actor’s perspective so I’ll say this: The Newsroom is dope and the writing is fantastic but the actors have to be on point to deliver that kind of Aaron Sorkin writing. It requires a considerable degree of talent to perform that kind of material and Olivia Munn worked her ass off to meet that. And again, I’m VERY much biased because I worked with her on an episode of New Girl and found her to be such an utterly wonderful person. This is where I whore myself out:
KEITH: I remember that. Such a great scene! Also I can see why you’ve had a crush since then. Flashing a guy will do that.
SHAWN: I’m just saying. I haven’t seen one thing she has been in that has been any good where she had a major role. The Newsroom was dope, but with that writing, how could you not be on point?
VALERIE: Shawn, I think your expectations are too high. You have to remember who we are dealing with: Singer and Fox. I will never forgive them for casting Alexandra Shipp as Storm.