Well here’s some good news to start off your weekend. Rose Byrne brought the X-Men character of Moira MacTaggert to life in director Matthew Vaughn’s excellent 1960s-set film X-Men: First Class, and while MacTaggert wasn’t a huge character in the semi-reboot, Byrne’s portrayal was promising and there was hope that she’d be further developed in the sequel. However, when X-Men: Days of Future Past rolled around, there was nary a mention of MacTaggert ever existing despite the fact that she and Professor Xavier shared a tender kiss…before he wiped her memory. The character’s absence was disappointing yet understandable, given that the characters already had a lot to deal with in Days of Future Past—namely time travel and the end of the world.
But now that the focus of the X-Men franchise is returning to the First Class characters in the upcoming DOFP follow-up X-Men: Apocalypse, MacTaggert is being brought back into the fold. Producer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg revealed to EW that Byrne will be reprising her role as the CIA agent in the Bryan Singer-directed sequel:
“She’s a significant character in the movie. We ended First Class with Charles having wiped portions of her memory of her experience with the X-Men. They are, essentially, strangers to her when she meets them… It’s certainly a rich relationship that we started to dig into in First Class, and would like to mine more in this one.”
Kinberg also reiterated what he previously told me in an earlier interview, saying Apocalypse will give some closure to the young mutants we first met in First Class—Charles, Eric, Raven, and Hank—completing the arc of the “first phase of their lives” so to speak. He also said again that Apocalypse will be diving head first into the 1980s aesthetic, permeating the film with period-specific music, clothing, and video games.
Byrne makes an excellent addition (re-addition?) to an already swell ensemble that is headed up by, of course, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and Nicholas Hoult, with Oscar Isaac set to play villain Apocalypse and the recently announced Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), Tye Sheridan (Mud), and Alexandra Shipp (Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B) as young Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Storm respectively.
Pre-production is currently underway in Montreal with filming expected to begin in earnest in April. X-Men: Apocalypse opens in theaters on May 27, 2016.