What Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey Learned From Famke Janssen For ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

* spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse *

No matter what else you thought of the not all that well critically received , odds are you were at least a little taken with Game of Thrones heavyweight Sophie Turner, who made her Fox-Marvel debut as one of X-Men’s most popular and iconic characters — Jean Grey.

One of the few new X-Men to actually get something resembling a defined character arc, we saw Jean Grey transition from a frightened young woman at the mercy of her own inner power (that old cliché) to overcoming her fear and allowing her abilities to emerge proper as she had a critical hand in taking down the titular villain, Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse.

Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse [X-Men: Apocalypse]
Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse [X-Men: Apocalypse]

In the form of a glowing Phoenix (Dark Phoenix foreshadowing!?), Jean’s power burst forth during the final battle, and it was a moment we’d been waiting to see ever since the sadly disappointing underuse of Jean Grey’s character (and powers) back in the original trilogy.

And the small interaction between her character and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine was nice — though in retrospect the scene in which she helps Wolverine to remember part of his past is a little creepy, given the intense love/crush/infatuation he had on the older Jean back in the original films. Let’s hope they avoid curling back to that particular storyline here.

The X-Men version of 'She's Just Not That Into You'
The X-Men version of ‘She’s Just Not That Into You’

But the first run of the X-Men Fox-Marvel Universe was far from having no effect upon our new, younger Jean Grey, as Sophie Turner told Cinema Blend during an press day last month.

Whilst Jean’s original run may have been disappointing in terms of the writing, Famke Janssen was a striking actress to cast as the iconic redhead, and her performance was really what carried Jean through to the muddled end of X-Men: The Last Stand. This was not lost on Turner, who described the influence Janssen’s performance had on her own:

“What I took away from Famke’s performance was just how balletic she was. Even when she went into Dark Phoenix, it was just so beautiful and balletic. That’s just something that stuck with me for the future, if they ever want to explore that.”

Famke Janssen as Dark Phoenix [X-Men: The Last Stand]
Famke Janssen as Dark Phoenix [X-Men: The Last Stand]

Firstly, there’s another Dark Phoenix reference dropped by Turner there, which is something we always enjoying seeing given that the Dark Phoenix story arc of Uncanny X-Men comics really deserves another do-over after The Last Stand.

Secondly, it’s not too much of a stretch to see how the physicality of Janssen’s performance has carried over to that of the younger Turner’s, a lingering reminder of the last time was saw her — brought back to life following the timeline reset in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

'Damn, Scott's here too' - Logan's inner monologue
‘Damn, Scott’s here too’ – Logan’s inner monologue

So where will Jean go from here? It’s hard to tell at this juncture. Clearly the pieces are in place to bring back Dark Phoenix, but it seems a little too early in the new game to circle back to such a huge event in the X-Men canon.

Of course we’re heading deep into untrodden territory now. With the confusing continuity re-set following Days of Future Past anything is game now, and both the writers and Turner are free to take our young Jean Grey in almost limitless directions.

What was your take on X-Men: Apocalypse? Tell us in the comments below!

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MP Staff Writer. Superheroes, comic books, Marvel and DC, film, sci-fi, video games.