How far we've come since the first X-MEN back in 2000. Black leather was in in those days, and every character looked like they hopped right out of THE MATRIX. It was the only real way you could sell a comic book movie back then. You couldn't straight-up translate the book to the screen--you had to ground it and sprinkle in elements for those few knowing fans who'd actually read the source material. And I bought into that idea, too. If you can believe it, I used to think the leather was badass, and was convinced there was no way you could pull off the comic book characters as they were drawn.
Ever since 2008's IRON MAN hit the big screen, movies have inched closer and closer to their comic book counterparts. Nowadays, the differences tend to be minimal. Sure, they can't always transliterate the characters, but since the current generation of filmmakers were such comic book geeks growing up, there is a definite sense of reverence to the source material that was never present before.
One of the more recent characters to just jump right off the page for me was Psylocke from the upcoming film X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Who would've thought that we'd live in a time where that can not only be shown on screen, but that it could be taken as seriously as it is? In a recent interview with Collilder, actress Olivia Munn (who plays Psylocke in the film) revealed that she was part of the reason the costume was so accurate to the character.
“I think my first thought [when I saw the costume] was it has to be purple, because we were going up against time and making it. It was black at first because that’s the way to—the latex is in black and all the armor is in black and it’s just easier, but I was like, ‘You’ve got to make it purple.’ That was kind of my first thought when I saw myself in the costume, which was in Photoshop.”
Of course not everyone is happy with the costume choice. While it may be accurate to the comics themselves, some believe it contributes to the oversexualization of women in media. But to Munn, that aspect of the character was a part of the appeal in a way. What's most important, however, is that her outfit doesn't take away from the character's strength.
“Well, I’ve loved Psylocke… To me, I know that Psylocke is dressed very sexually. Out of all the costumes, it’s really revealing, but it’s important to know that she always had substantive plotlines… Just because she’s dressed like that, she’s not this promiscuous, slutty girl that’s—in fact, Apocalypse is the one who dressed her and gave her that outfit. [...]
The thing about Psylocke is that, I can see the way that she’s dressed but it has nothing to do with how strong she is and how powerful she is. That is something that I love about Psylocke. When most superheroes don’t enjoy killing or don’t want to kill but they will kill if they have to, Psylocke can create anything with her mind. She can kill from afar, like Magneto or Storm, but she chooses to create a sword, which is a very intimate way to kill someone. She experiences it.”
Munn went on to describe the powers we'll see from Psyclocke in APOCALYPSE.
“Psylocke is telepathic and telekinetic. In the movie, we see her being a telekinetic. We don’t see her being telepathic. It’s a decision [we made] because this is the first time we’ve really been able to see the character of Psylocke and have her really, truly exist in the movie. I talked about it with Simon Kinberg. There’s just so much going on, especially with Apocalypse’s power, and then trying to take on all of the X-Men. When you are telephatic, I feel that it’s a power that you want to hold close to your chest. It’s a card that you don’t want a lot of people to know about because it’s so much more powerful when people don’t know that you have this power.”
This year and next year mark a huge turning point for the X-MEN franchise. There are rumors that Hugh Jackman will be making an appearance in APOCALYPSE, and he will close off his run of Wolverine with next year's WOLVERINE 3. As amazing as Jackman has been in the role, one aspect of the X-MEN franchise that a lot of comic book readers had was how central Wolverine was portrayed in the movies. The whole world of mutants is huge, and there are tons of mutants fit to lead their own film.
With Jackman leaving, DEADPOOL coming out with his own film this year, and GAMBIT having his own film next year, the opportunities seem to have opened up for these lesser known mutants to have their stories told. But what about Psylocke? Munn went on to describe what she would want out of a spinoff film for her character.
“I think if Psylocke had a chance to tell her story, it would be great to start with the genesis and have an understanding … I think maybe like right as she’s getting out of university and before her whole family—we jump in right before all of her family is taken out and we have an understanding of what she had to lose. Then her figuring out her powers and how powerful she is. I think that would be a great thing to, because it’s something that I always loved about her. That she came from a good family and lost everything. Yeah, I would just like to tell that story.”
What do you think of Olivia Munn's comments on the character? Let us know in the comments down below!
X-MEN: APOCALYPSE hits theaters on May 27, 2016.