Director Bryan Singer announced the newest cast member to X-Men: Apocalypse on Wednesday that suggests an interesting direction to the reboot of the mutant movie franchise. Newcomer Lana Condor has been cast as Jubilee, a young girl whose mutant power allows her to generate firework-like energy explosions.
Singer made the reveal on Instagram where posted a picture of Condor with the hashtag-filled message, “I’d officially like to welcome our newest mutant #JubilationLee, #Jubilee @LanaCondor to #XMEN#Apocalypse.”
Jubilee was originally created by Chris Claremon and Marc Silvestri in the early 1990s as an orphaned California teenage “mall rat” with mutant powers. She joined the X-Men as its youngest member and was featured in X-Men: The Animated Series.
The young mutant also made small appearances in the first three X-Men films. However, she was mostly background material in the movies with no speaking parts and never demonstrated her powers. X-Men: Apocalypse will be Condor’s first film, according to her IMDB page, suggesting that the character’s role in the new movie will be similar in nature.
X-Men: Apocalypse is something of a reboot of the X-Men movies following the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past. In a classic comic twist, the timeline of the series was completely re-written, which means the events of X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The Wolverine were all wiped off the board.
As a result of the retcon of the X-Men films, Apocalypse takes place in 1983 and recasts major characters like Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm. Interestingly, all three of these characters were cast with teenagers Tye Sheridan and Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) plus Alexandra Shipp, who has teenage looks at the age of 23. A young version of Nightcrawler will also be introduced and played by Kodi Smit-McPhee.
They will be joined by returning stars Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), and Evan Peters (Quicksilver). Oscar Isaac will play the primary villain that carries the X-Men: Apocalypse sub-title while Hugh Jackman is rumored to return as Wolverine and Channing Tatum is rumored to appear as Gambit.
The X-Men movies have never been shy about throwing characters around in different times and places from the comic counter-parts. Still, it is surprising to see a teenage Jubilee included in a cast of teenage X-Men. She’s always been one of the youngest members of the super hero squad, so it’ll be interesting to see how she is handled in X-Men: Apocalypse.