Jessica Henwick’s star has been on the rise over the last couple of years. Beginning with her turn as Nymeria Sand in Game of Thrones, Henwick began stealing the show more and more frequently. Such was the case in Marvel’s Netflix series Iron Fist, where Henwick’s performance captivated audiences and lead to fans clamoring for a spinoff. Henwick’s next big thing is a role in next month’s The Matrix Resurrections and, as it turns out, it came at the expense of another Marvel role.
In an interview with EW, Henwick revealed that she was up for a role in Marvel Studios Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings at the same time she was auditioning for WB the role of Bug in the fourth Matrix film. According to Henwick, both studios knew about the other roles and forced Henwick to make a choice, which Henwick cleverly referred to as a “red-pill/blue-pill moment” as she was not guaranteed either role at that time.
Henwick didn’t share what role she was up for in Shang-Chi, but given her age, it would seem the roles played by Meng’er Zhang and Fala Chen would be appropriate and, likely in that order. It’s interesting that Marvel Studios was open to working with Henwick once again given that she ended the second season of Iron Fist in a position of prominence. One could argue that this would be furhter evidence that Marvel Studios does not consider the events of Iron Fist, and by association any of the Defenders projects, to be canonical in the Sacred Timeline. While Marvel Studios has worked with Gemma Chan on multiple projects, her minor role in Captain Marvel saw her face painted blue and gave her relatively few lines making it easier for her to move into Eternals in a main role. It’s hard to make the same argument for Henwick and Blade star Mahershala Ali, who had major supporting roles in their respective Netflix series.
The Matrix Resurrections will debut in theaters and on HBO Max on December 22nd.