Olivia Munn will play the role of Psylocke in the upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse, director Bryan Singer announced today on Instagram.
Singer posted a photo of Munn on his Instagram account, along with the caption, "Excited to welcome @oliviamunn as Betsy Braddock!" You can see the post below. Munn recently starred in The Newsroom on HBO, and this won't be her first appearance in a movie based on a Marvel comic — she had a small role in Iron Man 2.
Psylocke debuted in 1976 in the Marvel U.K. series Captain Britain as Betsy Braddock, a white British woman with the ability to see the future. Upon her integration as Psylocke into the X-Men a decade later with the U.S. series New Mutants Annual, she featured the power of telepathy. Things got complicated in the 1990s, when a separate character, an Asian woman named Kwannon, fused minds with Psylocke and ended up inhabiting Braddock's body while Braddock took Kwannon's.
Casting Munn, a mixed-race (white/Asian) actress, in the role of Psylocke would suggest that the writers of X-Men: Apocalypse are going with the Kwannon version of the character. There's even a chance the film could seek to ameliorate the racially dodgy parts of the character's backstory by reimagining Psylocke as a woman who has always been part European and part Asian.
X-Men: Apocalypse, the follow-up to 2011's X-Men: First Class and 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, is set to hit theaters May 27, 2016. Aside from Munn, the film's cast includes Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones).