Actress Olivia Munn was 20th Century Fox's first choice to play Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse according to producer Simon Kinberg, and she dove into the role, even helping design the character's big screen look.
“Everybody together decides what the costume should look like, so it's like an art picture of, ‘Here's like what we think Psylocke is going to look like.’ There's my head,” Munn told JoBlo. “I think my first thought was it has to be purple, because we were going up against time and making it. It was black at first...The latex is in black and all the armor is in black and it's just easier, but I was like, ‘You got to make it purple.’ That was kind of my first thought when I saw myself in the costume, which is the Photoshop. When I first saw myself completely put together, it was a very nerdy cool dream. It's just like, ‘Whoa.’ It just doesn't really seem real.”
Even though Psylocke's costume made it into the film looking very close to her comic book counterpart, her powers won't exactly be the same - at least, not yet.
“Psylocke is telepathic and telekinetic. In the movie, we see her being a telekinetic. We don't see her being telepathic,” Munn explained. “It's a decision 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 telepathic, 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.”
Munn - and Professor X actor James McAvoy - also helped develop her unique fighting style, which incorporates her psychic blade.
“Yeah, which is why I had to learn to use a regular sword with both hands, so I can switch in between. It's more work for the special effects guys but it's pretty cool," she explained. "That was actually James McAvoy's idea. He was like, ’If you can use both hands,’ he's like, ‘Then you can go, you can switch, you can...’ Because the thing about sword work is that you're always keeping somebody off. Like they don't really know it's happening. You're really throwing people off. Your opponent. He was like, ‘Well, you can really throw them off if you're going from your real sword to your psychic sword and then just switching hands and it's just...’ I was like, ‘That sounds awesome.’”
However, Munn also hinted that her comic book origins would also be alluded to in X-Men: Apocalypse - perhaps even some of her layered origins as part of Captain Britain's family.
"There's small, subtle references to it with Apocalypse. For people who love and know Psylocke, they will know who she is fully formed. You would know her storyline."
X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters May 27.