Fan Art Convinced Producers to Hire Olivia Munn as Psylocke in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
Fan art can be a fun outlet for people to channel their creativity, but it can also have influence over Hollywood producers. It sounds like Olivia Munn at least partially has a fan to thank for her role in the upcoming mutant sequel X-Men: Apocalypse.
Writer/producer Simon Kinberg told CinemaBlend that an early draft of the script didn't feature the character of Psylocke at all, with Professor Xavier standing in as Apocalypse's fourth Horseman:
The one person we didn’t know was Psylocke, and the reason why is because originally in the script we sort of… I don’t know why we made this decision, but we knew that Professor X was abducted in the middle of the movie, and we thought that almost counted as a fourth Horseman. And so that’s the way we constructed the original draft of the script. There wasn’t going to be a fourth one. The ‘surprise’ was that Xavier was the fourth Horseman. And then when we were working on the script, Bryan and I at one particular point – pretty late in the process – said, ‘He’s not really a Horseman – he’s not doing anything in the third act of the movie.’
So they dove into the history of the comics to see who they should cast instead:
We started talking about who that would be, and just literally looked at the list of different Horsemen over the history of the comics, and Psylocke was the one we thought was the most intriguing. And, ironically, or as fate would have it, I had just met with Olivia Munn about Deadpool - like a week or two before. And Bryan and I were up in Montreal, and I said, ‘You know, Olivia Munn could be an interesting Psylocke,’ so we went on the internet and Googled her images. And one of the first things that popped up was a piece of fan art of Olivia as Psylocke.
Sadly, it's fitting that a piece of fan art effectively sealed the deal for Munn, because she basically plays no more than a piece of walking fan art in the movie itself. (All of that sword training she posted on Instagram unfortunately just didn't translate in the final product.)
I know that Munn is at least a modestly talented actress, even if she hasn't really been given a chance to really show it too much outside of The Newsroom, and I'm not trying to imply that the only reason she got this part was because of a piece of art. Talent is obviously a massive factor in casting someone, as are a million other things. But I'm sure the lesson some of you will take from this is to flood the internet with as much fan art as possible of your favorite actors playing your favorite characters and cross your fingers that someone important notices when doing a Google search. Who knows? It might actually end up working.