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Ian McKellen Weighs In on His Return as Magneto in 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'

November 30, 2012, 3:59 am GMT

On Michael Fassbender's performance as the younger version of Erik Lehnsherr, the original Magneto depicter gushes, 'I thought he was better than me.'



Fresh off Bryan Singer's announcement that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are set to return to "X-Men: Days of Future Past", McKellen took time to comment on his reunion with the mutant hero franchise. Talking to The Huffington Post earlier on Thursday, November 29, the Gandalf of "The Hobbit" film series shared his excitement about reprising his role as Magneto for the upcoming film.

"What a gas! 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]," the 73-year-old actor said of his feeling when Singer recast him as the alter ego of Erik Lehnsherr.

"I thought these were [Michael] Fassbender and [James] McAvoy's parts, but - no, no - we're back," he enthused. "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."

Aside from getting so thrilled to reunite with Singer, Stewart and possibly Hugh Jackman for the upcoming movie, McKellen expressed that he's excited about working with Michael Fassbender who plays the younger version of Magneto. Asked about his opinion of Fassbender's performance as the character in "X-Men: First Class", the senior thesp responded, "Yeah! I thought he was exactly that: first class. Excellent."

Urged if he felt somewhat envy with Fassbender for playing his iconic character, McKellen reacted with a laugh, "No. No. I thought he was better than me." He went on, "But, we weren't quite playing the same character because he was so much younger than me. And the scope of Magneto, one day a Jewish actor will play it. Clearly, he's Jewish. We first meet him in at Auschwitz and there's scope for all sorts of people to pay Magneto. But, I was just the lucky guy who got to play him first."

To open Stateside on July 18, 2014, "Days of Future Past" will be based on Uncanny X-Men #141 and 142 back in 1981 during Chris Claremont and John Byrne's run. The story introduced the idea of an alternate future for the Marvel mutants that grew out of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants killing an important senator, leading to a future where all mutants are hunted by Sentinels.

It has recently been reported that another original "X-Men" actor, Hugh Jackman, might also appear in the forthcoming film. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the lead actor of "The Wolverine" had been in talks to return as the alter ego of Logan.

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