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New Villian Cast For X-Men 3 Movie

The upcoming third installment of the X-Men movie franchise has upped the roster of characters making the leap from the comic pages to the screen by casting Phillipine actress Meiling Melancon as the purple-haired evil mutant assassin Psylocke.

Mei Melancon has been cast as the live face of Psylocke in the upcoming movie X-Men 3 [photo: publicity photo / Marvel Comics]In the Marvel comics, the character's genesis began as Betsy Braddock, once a forthright and proper British maiden, who was killed in battle. Her conciousness, however, slipped into the body of a young Japanese woman named Kwannon who had been in a coma for ten years. In her new body, she is known as Psylocke. Her mutant abilities include telepathy, the ability to detonate "mind grenades" which short-circuit brain synapses for extended periods of time and the ability to use shadows to transport herself and others. In the comics, Betsy also has a twin brother, Brian, but there is no word on if this character will make an appearance in the film.

The twenty-five year old actress is a virtual unknown to Western cinema audiences, with just a handful of credits to her name. She was known to X-Men 3 director Brett Ratner from work on his previous film, Rush Hour 2, but otherwise has done a few television guest spots on shows like "CSI" and "Deadwood". Melancon is also said to be proficient in Wushu Kung Fu, which should come in handy for her new mutant role.

Psylocke joins Mystique and Pyro as the newest member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants.

X-Men 3 is currently filming in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and is scheduled for release by Twentieth Century Fox on May 26, 2006 (Memorial Weekend). The film has not been rated yet, but I'm expecting the usual PG-13, so younger fans can see it in theaters.

The studio has also released the first preview trailer for the upcoming film, which can be viewed at the official website, www.x3movie.com.

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