Due to the revamping of the X-Men cinematic universe, a new lineup of young actors and actresses were added to the cast of X-Men: Apocalypse to play the new versions of mutants from the original X-Men trilogy. Among these includes Ty Sheridan who will play Cyclops, Alexandra Shipp as the new Storm, and Sophie Turner who will replace Famke Janssen as a young Jean Grey. Sophie Turner, known for her role as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, has one of the more important roles in the X-Men universe to fill. Jean Grey remains one of the more important mutants from not only the comics, but the original X-Men trilogy as well due to Famke Janssen’s critical performance. This stresses the importance of not only Turner’s Jean Grey, but the young actress’ performance in relation to Janssen’s previous interpretation of the character as well.
In a recent interview with Sophie Turner, she talked about the importance of studying Janssen’s performances in the previous films and taking that and using it to create her own version of the character. One characteristic of Janssen’s performance Turner hoped to adopt for her own character was Jean Grey’s poise and grace. She was quoted, saying:
“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.”
While Famke Janssen’s role as Jean Grey obviously influenced the new version of the same character, Turner was also influenced by James McAvoy’s performance as Professor Charles Xavier. Professor X serves as a very important person in Jean Grey’s life, as both a teacher and a fellow telepath. Therefore, Professor X’s role and James McAvoy’s performance will be a big influence on the development of Turner’s character. Specifically, Turner stated:
“I also took influence from James’ performance, because Xavier is a mentor to Jean, and she would emulate his mannerisms and such. And they share a similar power set! I just tried to put my own spin on it as well, because it’s such a different Jean from the Jean in the first three movies. It feels like we’re exploring new territory here.”
With the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past creating a new timeline, fans look forward to see how the young characters will differ from those seen in the old movies as X-Men: Apocalypse marks the beginning of the new state of continuity. These new actors and actresses can either adopt the personalities and characteristics of those performed before them, or they can embrace the fresh slate and differ in comparison to their predecessors.
Sophie Turner will make her first appearance as Jean Grey when X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27th.