Ian McKellen on his return to X-Men

News Simon Brew 30 Nov 2012 - 06:33
X-Men: First Class

Let the battle of the Magnetos commence, as Ian McKellen talks about his return to the X-Men franchise in Days Of Future Past...

It's been quite an exciting week for those following the progress of X-Men: First Class follow-up, X-Men: Days Of Future Past. As well as the cast of the former returning, this week we've learned that some familiar faces from the previous X-Men trilogy are also set to return to the big screen.

Thus, Hugh Jackman is in talks to be Wolverine again (having just wrapped on next summer's The Wolverine), whilst both Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen will be reprising their roles as Professor X and Magneto.

The Huffington Post caught up with McKellen, and he sounds really rather pleased about the news. As are we. "What a gas!", he said. "I mean, Patrick Stewart and I have been have just been playing Waiting For Godot throughout England and in the West End of London. So, we've stayed in touch. We can't believe it [laughs]. I thought these were Fassbender and McAvoy's parts, but - no, no - we're back. We'll give them a run for their money. I mean, I haven't read the script, so I don't know how much we've got to do. But, to be back in that world, and for Bryan to be doing it - with all the success he's had in the meantime - it's wonderful. Wonderful".

McKellen added that he was a fan of Michael Fassbender's performance in X-Men: First Class, and from where we sit, it's going to be interesting to see the two Magentos come together on the big screen in two years' time.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past is released in the summer of 2014, with Bryan Singer directing.

The Huffington Post.

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It's good to hear that McKellen is so positive about his return.

Yup. It's good that he doesn't have a snobby attitude to 'mainstream, populist' entertainment.
I am sure the fat pay cheque doesn't hurt either!

I remember reading that Robert Downey Jnr took the Ironman role because he wanted to make a film that people would see!
I think him, along with McKellen, Fassbender and some others have certainly set a trend that more 'serious' actors can do fun, action, mainstream roles and not dent their serious acting creds.

This is looking very exciting. Seeing Stewart, Mckellen, McAvoy and Fassbender in the same film is sure to be amazing!

I'm very wary of speaking too soon here, but it really is incredible how they seem to have turned this franchise around.
Just a few short years ago, the X-films seemed dead in the water, but now after First Class, we're looking at (whisper it) an actually quite intriguing-looking Wolverine movie followed by this.
The Stewart/McAvoy Xavier's and the McKellan/Fassbender Magneto's... In one movie?
Surely even if this fails, the very fact that they're trying something so different must ensure that it will be an insanely watchable failure, no?

Great news indeed. I wonder if the time travel aspect will be used to address any of the continuity issues, or is that just too geeky?

Exactly what I was thinking, although I'm not too sure on The Wolverine at the moment. I was excited when Darren Aronofsky was set to direct, but my excitement died out when the director changed.

Days of Future Past looks incredible though. I was disappointed when Matthew Vaughn left, but what a replacement Bryan Singer was. He's a great director and look what he did with the first two X-Men films!

Hopefully this has turned around the franchise for good now and it clears up all the continuity issues of it.

Why would you think McKellan would be snobby about mainstream movies? He's played the lead role in now (about to be) 6 Lord of the Rings movies, and 3 X-men movies.... would be quite odd of him to turn around and be snobby now!

I think with the Avengers being so successful that studios have realised that not only are comicbook movies still loved by audiences but they've also realised the origin story where the hero fights a villain to save his girlfriend is becoming very stale. Audiences want to see heroes from different worlds attempting tom put they're egos aside to fight a bigger force, they want to see new ideas and new villains. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm also quite excited for this film. I'm glad that they're trying something very different.

I just want to mention how much I love actors like McKellen and Stewart. These guys are Shakespearian heavyweights; proper fully-trained Thespians, and yet they still have such passion for fantasy and sci-fi. So much actors of their calibre would see X-Men, Lord of the Rings or Star Trek as beneath them, but guys like these two just seem to adore the genre and they bring something so wonderful to the whole thing. I honestly wish these two weren't in a minority (obviously, there's a few actors and actresses like them, but not many) and people saw this whole genre as legitimate art, which, unlike a lot of cinema, it very much is. I think I'm rambling now and this comment is near-irrelevant to the article, but it has to be said how wonderful these two are!

What a classy act!

McKellan sure paints a different picture than does Eccleston with regard to returning to previously played parts.

How many more xmen spin-offs can they keep doing at good quality?

If anything they can up the 'legit' cred of superhero cinema for serious film buffs. Which is always a plus!

I saw a recent interview with Ecclestone where he calls the Thor sequel "Dark Skies" and say it'll be out in the summer. Wrong on both counts, since it's called "The Dark World" and is out next November. Minor slips of the tongue or glaring evidence that he couldn't give a damn about this sort of thing? I'm kinda worried it's the second. It'd be a shame; he's a great fantasy/sci-fi actor...

That might be their exact reasoning!

Effing wow. Two magnetos? Yes please. this is going to be awesome.

The comic books managed to tell a few good stories, surely film can too

He does a semi-regular voice on American Dad (and he's Joe and Bonnie's baby on Family Guy)! Also irrelevant to the article, but also impossibly cool of him. :)

(Patrick Stewart, I mean. I think they have yet to land Ian, but I'm sure they're trying. Sorry, forgot which of these two titans the original article was about!)

hopefully they can fix x3 with this film as well!!!

That's what I thought I said?...

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