There are always Hollywood stories about actors who turned down prominent roles, only to regret it later on, after the movie had gone on to become a huge hit. Michael Keaton famously turned down Groundhog Day because he didn’t understand the concept, while the title role of Forrest Gump was first offered to Bill Murray, before he turned it down and it went to Tom Hanks, who won his second Oscar for the role. As it turns out, this year’s biggest movie thus far, Deadpool, almost had a different female lead actress, Olivia Munn.
Ironically, Olivia Munn ended up turning down the Deadpool role in favor of another movie set in the X-Men universe, X-Men: Apocalypse, where she plays the deadly Psylocke. During an interview with American Way Magazine, Olivia Munn revealed she was offered the role of Deadpool’s girlfriend, Vanessa Carlyle, which eventually went to Morena Baccarin. She turned it down because she didn’t want to play another girlfriend role. Instead, she wanted to fight, and ended up landing the role of Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, in theaters May 27. Here’s what she had to say about her initial meetings for X-Men: Apocalypse.
“I said, ‘Is there a fight scene?’ The fight scene could be her monologue. I thought Psylocke was always one of the most lethal characters, and I said, ‘Yes, as long as you’re not using her to be the eye candy. She has really powerful abilities.’ And they said, ‘Yes, that’s an important part.'”
Deadpool went on to break box office records left and right, scoring the biggest opening weekend for an R-rated movie ($132.4 million), plus the biggest debut in 20th Century Fox history. It has earned $361.9 million domestically and $761.1 million worldwide, the biggest global take ever for an R rated movie. 20th Century Fox is currently developing a sequel for Deadpool, but it remains unclear if Psylocke will return in any of the studio’s future X-Men projects, so we’ll have to wait and see.
It’s worth noting that the character Olivia Munn passed on in Deadpool, Vanessa Carlyle, eventually becomes a hero named Copycat, who was a member of X-Force and the New Mutants, titles which are both currently in development at 20th Century Fox. It isn’t known if the studio has any plans on turning Vanessa Carlyle into Copycat in Deadpool 2, but we’ll have to wait and see. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on 20th Century Fox’s plans for Deadpool 2 and the rest of the studio’s X-Men universe.