Rose Byrne Returns In X-Men Apocalypse

Ben Bussey
·UK Movies Writer

Actress Rose Byrne is to reprise her ‘X-Men: First Class’ role of Moira MacTaggert in the upcoming ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ it has been confirmed.

Screenwriter Simon Kinberg tells Entertainment Weekly that MacTaggert is “a significant character in the movie. We ended ‘First Class’ with Charles [Xavier, played by James McAvoy] having wiped portions of her memory of her experience with the X-Men. They are, essentially, strangers to her when she meets them.” 

Where ‘First Class’ was set in 1962 and ‘Days of Future Past’ moved on to 1974, ‘Apocalypse’ naturally enough moves the action to the early 80s - and will see the reintroduction of key X-Men members Jean Grey, Cyclops and Storm.

'First Class' suggested a potential romantic connection between Xavier and MacTaggert; Kinberg says, “It’s certainly a rich relationship that we started to dig into in First Class, and would like to mine more in this one.”

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The character of Moira MacTaggert was briefly introduced in 2006’s ‘X-Men 3: the Last Stand,’ with an uncredited Olivia Williams in the role - who attentive viewers may recall popped up in the post-credits coda which revealed Xavier’s survival (not that this matters much now in the post-‘Days of Future Past’ timeline…)

However, the character really joined the action when Byrne took over in 2011’s ‘X-Men: First Class.’  As a CIA agent who enlists Charles Xavier’s help in tracking down the villainous mutant organisation headed up by Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), she is essentially the first heroic non-mutant of the X-movies.

2011 proved quite a breakthrough time for the Australian actress, who also appeared in ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Insidious’ that year. She has since notched up further prominent roles in ‘Insidious Chapter 2,’ ‘Bad Neighbours,’ ‘Annie’ and the upcoming ‘Spy.’

Simon Kinberg isn’t spilling any details on how the partially amnesiac MacTaggert will feature in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ but he does stress a particular affection for the 1980s period setting:

“That’s the era that I grew up in. The music, the fashion, the videogames: We really want to integrate all of that in the movie, and have it infuse the movie with a different vibe.” 

And, in what might be either exciting or appalling to comics readers, Kinberg doesn’t rule out the possibility of an appearance by notorious disco mutant Dazzler, reportedly laughing, “Could happen - We’re certainly looking at mutants that would fit into the period.”   

'X-Men: Apocalypse' is due to hit screens on 19 May 2016.

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Picture Credit: 20th Century Fox