Olivia Munn Knows More About Comics Than People Who Make Comic Book Movies. Fact.
I think people tend to forget that Olivia Munn is a super nerd. She made her mark on the nerd world through cohosting Attack of the Show and has always been known for the comic book knowledge, which is why I’m not surprised that, when it came to X-Men: Apocalypse, she knew more about her character, Psylocke, than either director Bryan Singer or screenwriter Simon Kinberg, the latter of whom is responsible for the recent Dark Phoenix movie.
During an “Actually Me” video for GQ, the actress was asked if she was ever frightened by “crazy” comic fans, and she explained that she wasn’t because she herself is a fan and gets hype for the same reasons.
“I think that people wouldn’t get so crazy if it was just a really great movie,” Munn said. “When I was doing X-Men, I was actually surprised that the director [Singer] and the writer [Kinberg] didn’t even know that Psylocke had a twin brother. And I had to talk to them about a lot of different things about Psylocke and some other parts of the world that they didn’t know and that, as a fan, was very frustrating.”
And X-Men Apocalypse was very frustrating. To defend Singer and Kinberg slightly (and just slightly), Psylocke has a very complicated history that, unless you were well versed in the character, you might not know. In the comics, Psylocke is a white Brtish woman who ends up in the body of a Japanese woman, Kwannon, during a Chris Claremont-written storyline that was supposed to end but just … never did. That was undone by Marvel last summer, when Psylocke got her original body back and Kwannon was returned to her own.
In that time, despite the weird racial issues with it, Psylocke became one of the most prominent Asian characters in comics. It makes sense why Munn, who is of Chinese descent, would not only want to play the character but be better versed in Psylocke’s weird history. That being said, for the director and writer to include that character in the story without knowing much about her, other than that she’s popular, is indicative of why these movies often fail to get the X-Men right.
Putting a beloved member of a franchise into a movie “just because” isn’t the best way to go when X-Men characters come with such rich histories that are worth exploring if you are actually trying to make good X-Men films. That is the goal right?
It probably didn’t help that they depowered Psylocke a lot, gave her costume a boob window (as if Psylocke’s costume wasn’t already sexy), and gave her few lines. So, they had one of the few visible Asian superheroes, and they weakened her, made her silent, and put her in a costume literally made by a sex shop? Classy, as always. Why did we ever have hope for Dark Phoenix, again?
(via CBR, image: 20th Century Fox)
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