News that Fox has cast Jamie Chung (Once Upon A Time, Gotham) to play the mutant Blink in the upcoming #XMen television series has given fans of the franchise a reason to rejoice. Since announcing plans to produce a TV show to accompany the hit X-Men film franchise, speculation (along with hope and fear) has run rampant among fans. With Fox's messy method of handling the franchise, all bets are off as to how it will transition to the small screen.
Chung, a former reality television star, has a diverse acting resume, recently appearing on the fantasy drama Once Upon a Time as Mulan and on Gotham as Valerie Vale, a love interest for James Gordon. (In fact, this will not even be Chung’s first time in the world of the X-Men; the actress provided the voice for Aimi Yoshida in the X-Men: Destiny video game.)
Chung is not only growing in popularity, but she has proven time and again that she has what it takes to bring a character as fantastic as Blink to life. While there is no doubt Jamie Chung is an ideal actress to play Clarice Ferguson, a.k.a. the teleporting mutant Blink, the casting of a previously seen character — Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing played Blink in Days Of Future Past — raises questions about the timeline, the use of a shared X-Men universe, and, above all else, which other famous mutants we can expect to see.
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Here are three questions raised by today's casting announcement.
1. Will This Be Another Case Of 'Blink And You Miss Her'?
Fans remember Blink from her fantastic, yet brief, appearance in Days of Future Past. Her teleportation powers were one of the coolest mutations in the film, helping it achieve the nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 2015 Academy Awards.
Yet, despite her awesome powers, Blink was only present in the film’s backdrop, becoming a casualty of the futuristic war after only uttering one line (two if you watch the Rogue Cut). In a film jam-packed with mutants, there just wasn't room for everyone to shine.
Fortunately, this is a chance for Blink to rise again on the small screen. Fans have loved Blink ever since the 1994 "Phalanx Covenant" storyline and the "Age of Apocalypse" arc thereafter, so hopefully the new Fox series will feature her as a main character instead of just as a cool-looking cameo.
2. How Will She Be Different In This Timeline?
The news about Chung taking over as Blink begs the question: when will the TV show take place? We first see Blink in the post-apocalyptic year of 2023, so will the new series serve as a prequel to the film, taking place somewhere between The Last Stand and DOFP? Or will it take place in the non-apocalyptic year of 2023 that we saw at the end of DOFP?
Also, will Blink be kicking it with her DOFP squad, consisting of Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Iceman, Bishop, Warpath and Sunspot? It seems unlikely given the talent used to portray those characters on the big screen; however, it could be that Fox takes the same route with them that they took with Blink, and recast them.
3. Who Will Play Blink In Future Movies?
The casting of Chung also raises some questions about the future of the shared X-Men cinematic universe that Singer and Co. have been building for 17 years. While Chung is sure to bring Blink to life in ways that DOFP couldn’t allow for, Fan Bingbing did sign on for a total of five X-Men films in the role. Would Chung take over in future movies as well?
Beyond Blink in the new X-Men TV show, it will see two human parents forced to flee after they discover their children have mutant powers. While hiding from the government, the family joins an underground network of mutants in the fight for survival. The pilot will be written by Matt Nix (Burn Notice) and directed by Bryan Singer. X-Men film alumni Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg will serve as executive producers alongside Singer, Matt Nix and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.
Fox has also cast Blair Redford as Sam, the leader of the underground mutants. As more mutants are cast, the expanse of this tie-in show will become clear — but as of now, you can expect a first season of 12 to 13 episodes featuring characters both new and old. Perhaps some of them will appear in future X-films as well?
What do you think of the addition of Blink to the new X-Men television show? Share your thoughts in the comments below!