Earlier this year, Patrick Stewart revealed that his best buddy Ian McKellen was “certainly” going to reprise his role as Magneto in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ but it looks like Stewart could have used some of Professor X’s mind reading powers, because Sir Ian, while promoting his new film ‘Mr. Holmes,’ expressed no knowledge of such a job.
A Tale of Two Magnetos: McKellan and Fassbender as Magneto at two different ages.
“I haven’t heard [the rumors], I don’t think I am, no, no, they are currently making the film and I’m not in it. I was very happy to be a part of the films but I have other things to be doing. I’ve just done ‘Mr. Holmes,’ I just done some filming for a sitcom, a film for BBC TV with Anthony Hopkins, so there are compensations for not getting caught up in blockbusters.”
McKellen is, of course, a legendary actor with several decades-worth of stage, film and television credits to his name, but the part of mutant terrorist Magneto introduced him to a new generation of fans. That new fan base only grew with his turn as Gandalf in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ movies.
But it sounds as if the veteran actor, along with Stewart, is moving on to other opportunities. They both appeared in the time-jumping ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ as a farewell to the franchise, passing the baton to Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy who portrayed younger versions of Magneto and Professor X, respectively and will continue to do so in ‘Apocalypse.’
Just because McKellen has slipped his trusty bucket helmet off for the last time doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate the decade and a half he spent playing one of comics’ most complex and compelling villains.
“I’ve always thought the X-Men stories were superior, to my taste, to any other fantasy movies because they were about something. I don’t think there’s much excitement in the wimp who becomes all powerful when he changes his underwear. But X-Men is about what it is to be different, what it is to be a mutant, and society’s attitude towards difference and all that. That’s an important social thing to discuss.”
Indeed, Marvel’s mutants have always been a metaphor for social minorities, whether due to race, religion, nation of origin, sexual identity or any other trait that makes us “different.” The movies embraced that unique perspective wholeheartedly.
If you’d like to watch all of Mckellan’s interview, which is largely devoted to ‘Mr. Holmes,’ click below:
Are you sad that we’ve seen the last of McKellan and Stewart in these roles that they originated in one of the first super hero movies of the modern era? Or are you excited to see where the younger cast will guide this franchise in future installments? Comment below!