Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart Return to X-Men

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Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart Return to X-Men

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Gandalf and Captain Picard will go at it again in the X-Men: First Class sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The best things about the X-Men film from 2000 were Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, who respectively portrayed Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr, better known to the world at large as Professor X and Magneto. Hugh Jackman was a brilliant Wolverine and Ray Park was fun as Toad, but it was Stewart and McKellan who really anchored the thing. And while I didn't care much for the sequels, I didn't give up on the franchise until X-Men: First Class, which delved into the early days of the hated and feared mutant group and brought in James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender to portray the characters in their younger years.

But today, director Bryan Singer announced that both actors will return to their roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the First Class sequel set for release in 2014. "Thrilled to announce @ianmckellen118 & @SirPatStew are joining the cast of #XMEN," he tweeted. Making things even more interesting, however, and also more confusing, was Singer's tweet immediately prior to that one, in which he said that McAvoy and Fassbender would also be returning. How's that going to work?

Days of Future Past - the comic, not the film - is actually an alternate future storyline in which the X-Men failed to prevent the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. "In this future universe, Sentinels rule the United States, and mutants live in internment camps," as Wikipedia explains it. "The present-day X-Men are forewarned of the possible future by a future version of their teammate Kitty Pryde, whose mind traveled back in time and possessed her younger self to warn the X-Men." Since it's safe to assume that the movie will follow more or less along the same lines as the books, Stewart and McKellan will presumably portray their older, alternate-universe selves while McAvoy and Fassbender carry on with the "real" timeline.

This bodes very well for the film, not just because of the return of two really great actors but because as any comic fan will tell you, alternate timeline stories are the best. Writers are given an incredible amount of freedom because they don't have to worry about continuity or even keeping characters alive, and the results tend to be pretty spectacular. If Days of Future Past can make that happen on the big screen, I may just have to see it.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is currently scheduled for a 2014 release.

Source: FirstShowing.net

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Andy Chalk:
And while I didn't care much for the sequels, I didn't give up on the franchise until X-Men: First Class, which delved into the early days of the hated and feared mutant group and brought in James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender to portray the characters in their younger years.

....so you only gave up on the series when it had its absolute, positive, straight up best film in the series?

How can people not love that movie? It begins with a psychic jewish kid crushing Nazi skulls, and keeps on getting better. It was completely balls out awesome, and in my top 5 best superhero movies ever.

Interesting. This could be good. I didn't care for the original films too much. The second one was pretty awesome but the surrounding films were big letdowns as I am a massive comic fan since I was 7 years old. I found First Class to be a fantastic film personally. I'm glad that McAvoy and Fassbender will make it into the film though, their performances were top notch in that film. The thing that always bothered me about McKellen and Stewart is they are fantastic actors and the writing for the original trilogy did not show off their talent at all. Fingers crossed on this one.

But Senator Kelly is murdered in the very first film!

So it won't have much to do with that will it? Or maybe it's a what if the real Kelly lived kind of thing? Who knows.

fix-the-spade:
But Senator Kelly is murdered in the very first film!

So it won't have much to do with that will it? Or maybe it's a what if the real Kelly lived kind of thing? Who knows.

First Class doesn't pay much attention to the trilogy anyway, I don't imagine they care (as they shouldn't, they're poo).

Hell with kitty pryde, get Snipes out of jail so he can play Bishop.

First Class was great because it retconned X Men 3 and Wolverine Origins out of existence.

Hopefully we'll finally get to see a proper Sentinel battle, and it'll run kinda like the first series of Wolverine and The X Men, which was good.

Andy Chalk:
And while I didn't care much for the sequels, I didn't give up on the franchise until X-Men: First Class

Wait wait wait... Is this sentence supposed to imply that First Class made you give up on X-Men movies? Not X-Men 3, not the Wolverine spinoff, but First Class???? Not saying "OMG yuo suckzz!1!!1", but why?

OT: As much as Stewart and McKellen are fucking awesome, I thought McAvoy and Fassbender were absolutely brilliant in First Class and was sad at the first tweet... Until the second tweet combined the whole thing into a maelstrom of pure amazing!

fix-the-spade:
But Senator Kelly is murdered in the very first film!

So it won't have much to do with that will it? Or maybe it's a what if the real Kelly lived kind of thing? Who knows.

It's a sequel to First Class only. It's a new timeline; The 2000's X-Men trilogy doesn't exist.

The future looks dark as knight, but as long as Ellen Page comes back to, this should be good :)

wait, who else enjoyed X3? It was a good action movie, not a great X men movie I'll admit but not terrible.

Mr.Tea:
It's a sequel to First Class only. It's a new timeline; The 2000's X-Men trilogy doesn't exist.

Oh yes they do.

Seeing as Hugh-verine already turned up in First Class, I don't see why they can't co-exist (3/Wolverine's crapness not withstanding), Professor X and Magneto fight/learn to walk/make up/forget to walk about every twenty five issues anyway.

A film dealing with the (I assume tremendous) fall out from the destruction of Alcatraz would be great, as long as the writers approach it sensibly.

Yeah yeah yeah, get to the real thing people care about - will there be another Stan Lee cameo?

I guess it would've been more accurate to say that X3 is the one that made me give up on the franchise, because it was horrid shit. I just couldn't work up even the slightest modicum of interest in First Class.

Andy Chalk:
I guess it would've been more accurate to say that X3 is the one that made me give up on the franchise, because it was horrid shit. I just couldn't work up even the slightest modicum of interest in First Class.

Did you actually see it? Cause I honestly cannot see how someone could walk away from that movie with lower opinion of the series than when they entered.

did you say... days of the future past? YUSSSSS! FUCKING YUSSSSSSSSSSSS!!

YES! This film is going to be pure awesome, I can tell.

Also, isn't Kitty the one who can move through solid matter? Sounds a bit strange that she would be the one to send her mind back in time.

And for the record, I enjoyed Xmen3. It was a nice action packed film that tied up the trilogy. Wolverine was fucking terrible.

Akalabeth:
Hell with kitty pryde, get Snipes out of jail so he can play Bishop.

That is...a surprisingly good idea.

Or how about Ving Rhames?

He's bigger and is a better actor.

grey_space:

Akalabeth:
Hell with kitty pryde, get Snipes out of jail so he can play Bishop.

That is...a surprisingly good idea.

Or how about Ving Rhames?

He's bigger and is a better actor.

Though they still need snipes as blade vs Morpheus and the Xmen

Ving Rhames? Looks kinda old.

Howabout that Conan guy. Yeah, I didn't like him in SG Atlantis, he probably sucked in Conan too but he might be okay for Xmen (low budget actor too) - Momoa Ronon? Though maybe not black enough. Howabout, the Rock? Dwayne Johnson.

Akalabeth:

Though they still need snipes as blade vs Morpheus and the Xmen

Ving Rhames? Looks kinda old.

Howabout that Conan guy. Yeah, I didn't like him in SG Atlantis, he probably sucked in Conan too but he might be okay for Xmen (low budget actor too) - Momoa Ronon? Though maybe not black enough. Howabout, the Rock? Dwayne Johnson.

Good option with Momoa actually. He's not that bad an actor if he doesn't talk too much. He was pretty good in Game of Thrones and has the right menacing air about him...Bishop is way darker than him tho.

Nonzo Anonzie from the same show.

Or the guy who played Tilc in Stargate.

He's old but suitably massive.

Foolproof:

Andy Chalk:
I guess it would've been more accurate to say that X3 is the one that made me give up on the franchise, because it was horrid shit. I just couldn't work up even the slightest modicum of interest in First Class.

Did you actually see it? Cause I honestly cannot see how someone could walk away from that movie with lower opinion of the series than when they entered.

Though I did like First class I actually preferred the first two films since they were no Origins Wolverine.

Man, I would love to be excited about this. Days of Future Past was one of the best arcs in the history of the X books....

But the Dark Phoenix Saga is arguably THE best arc, and we all know how that went. So I'll keep myself to cautiously hopeful, since First Class was pretty good, even without most of the usual characters.

The X-Men movie continuity is starting to get as convoluted as the Star Wars continuity. It's just 3 and Wolverine that no longer count, right? 1, 2, First Class, and now this one are the non-retconned right?

I can dig it.

EDIT: And how does this new Wolverine movie factor into all of it?

Day of the Future Past was the best story arc ever!

Shame so many mutants died though. Including Spiderman, Fantastic Four and some such. Sentinels really don't like mutants. >.> BUT YEAH, good storyline.

*reads announcement of Days of Future Past Movie*
*Plays Thus Spoke Zarathustra*

My God, It's full of stars!

It's very true, the alternate universe type superhero story things do seem to be pretty awesome, so hopefully this movie will be good.

All of this is great news, and the icing on the cake is that I get to drool at Jennifer Lawrence for another movie ;). Let's just pray they keep January Jones out this time.

I love this story arc!

Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender BOTH playing Magneto in the same movie?! I'm so down for this!

I am a bit confused as to how the Wolverine flicks fit into this movie continuity... I suppose there's not reason they CAN'T be canon but... I dunno. They're pretty weird. I'll just ignore them. =D

Wait, they're doing Days of Future Past with First Class's time period as the present? I mean, I guess it doesn't really matter where you put the story, there's still a past and a future, but it's an interesting take.

Oh, but they'd better not try to weasel out of using Shadowcat for this movie- I've been waiting for her to get some decent screentime for too long.

So long as i get to see this on screen,
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I will enjoy this movie. This is Marvel's version of breaking the Bat - the page that Wolverine died and stayed dead.

DVS BSTrD:
The future looks dark as knight, but as long as Ellen Page comes back to, this should be good :)

Seconded. You need either Ellen Page or Anna Paquin or someone to play an X-Person as if they think they might get hurt, otherwise I don't care about teh fight scenes. Also, angsty love triangles do not help anything.

...

Anyone else notice that the best characters in the X-Men films are always played by actors from Commonwealth nations?

Oh look, Bryan Singer is directing another X-men movie. And here I was just getting excited to see Matthew Vaughn's take on the X-men universe..

Foolproof:

Andy Chalk:
And while I didn't care much for the sequels, I didn't give up on the franchise until X-Men: First Class, which delved into the early days of the hated and feared mutant group and brought in James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender to portray the characters in their younger years.

....so you only gave up on the series when it had its absolute, positive, straight up best film in the series?

How can people not love that movie? It begins with a psychic jewish kid crushing Nazi skulls, and keeps on getting better. It was completely balls out awesome, and in my top 5 best superhero movies ever.

Yeah, that was one of the best films I've seen in ages.

The entire cast was killing it, utterly killing it.

Andy Chalk:
I guess it would've been more accurate to say that X3 is the one that made me give up on the franchise, because it was horrid shit. I just couldn't work up even the slightest modicum of interest in First Class.

Grab your favorite drink, grab a copy of this film, and watch it.

Everyone agrees X3 was terrishit, but First Class is First Class.

Evil Smurf:
wait, who else enjoyed X3? It was a good action movie, not a great X men movie I'll admit but not terrible.

It pandered too much for me. "I'M THE JUGGERNAUT BITCH!"

Really?...did this really just happen :/.

Had it just been a random action movie then sure, but it wasn't, it was the third part to the trilogy. It should have been treated with some kind of respect.

"The present-day X-Men are forewarned of the possible future by a future version of their teammate Kitty Pryde, whose mind traveled back in time and possessed her younger self to warn the X-Men."

I know it would depend a lot on execution, but on the face of it this sounds just awful.

Maybe this time they will actually make use of Patrick Stewart's formidable acting talent. Maybe this time they will give him a character (not to mention a script) that actually has some depth to it. McKellan never was, nor never will be the problem, not least when he is playing one modern fiction's greatest tragic roles. His character is quite obvious in its simplicity, yet lends itself to multiple depths. You are dealing not only with the obvious question of vengeance and how it can consume a man, but also the way in which power can corrupt. Thus far, we have been fortunate to see him played by two of Britain's leading actors. Any Magneto script essentially writes itself, which is why in the hands of a good rate actor, it is always a pleasure to watch.
Xavier on the other hand has been much more of a challenge. The reason why seems to suggest the notion that he is simply not as interesting. Xavier is always written as an absolute good, a man without faults. Take this and then compare it to Lensherr and the issue becomes apparent. Magneto is a man that has as of yet, failed to overcome the complexities that have surrounded him. These then leads us on the question of why? Is it the circumstances or the man himself that create the greater burden?
Xavier on the other hand might have issues, foibles and failures, but we never hear about them. There was never a time when he used to cheat at cards or whatever. Well not in the films anyway. If Magneto is the player that could not confront his events that then Xavier must be that man that could.
Plus there is also the small issue of nationality. Is he British or American? What is the true nature of his character? is he an old progressively minded American academic, in the guise of Chomsky or Vidal? Or an idealistic British intellectual, in the manner of Russell or Orwell? Unquestionably the comparative mindset, generally speaking, of these respective types will be markedly different.
The X-Men series has always sold itself as being a cut above the average comic by offering an intellectual depth not seen elsewhere. It would be nice to see it there in all its glory there on the big screen for a change.

Evil Smurf:
wait, who else enjoyed X3? It was a good action movie, not a great X men movie I'll admit but not terrible.

It sounds like it's me and you against the world again, Evil One.

Yes, I enjoyed the 3rd X-Men movie. I enjoyed the entire trilogy AND the Wolverine: Origins movie. Haven't seen First Class yet.

I enjoyed The Avengers and am going to see Captain America today, and I expect to enjoy it, too.

I'm going to commit Comic Book Geek High Treason here, so everyone grab your pitchforks and light the torches!

I enjoyed the first two Toby Maguire Spider Man movies--haven't seen the third or the new Amazing Spider Man yet.

I liked the Fantastic Four movies. I liked the Ben Affleck Daredevil movie and its silly Electra spin off.

I even kinda enjoyed the Ghost Rider movie with Nicholas Cage in it.

Hold off with the torches! You haven't heard the worst of it yet!

I also enjoyed the first two Transformers movies--haven't seen the 3rd one.

AND HERE COMES THE ULTIMATE GEEK ACT OF TREASON!!!

I also enjoyed the Star Wars prequels (sans the romance scenes--Gods, but Lucas just CANNOT write romance)! And that includes finding Jar Jar more amusing than annoying!

That's Right! I said it!!!

The thing is I enjoy watching these movies for the sake of watching them unto themselves. I never came into any of the comic book or Transformer movies expecting them to be Holy Canon Gospel versions of the original comics. As such I look back at those movies in much the same way Movie Bob did when he did the episode: The Phantom Menace 13 Years Later

Moreover I recognize that the X-Men and Spider Man trilogies and most of the movies listed above are NEW GENRE PROTOTYPES. The CGI technology allowing super hero movies to be made as modern audiences have become accustomed to necessitated that creators and movie studios cut their teeth both on the technology of making super hero movies AND on the story telling aspect of picking and choosing and condensing decades of comic book history into 2 hour long films suitable for general audiences and not just for nerd-culture fan boys.

No matter HOW bad any of the above movies may be NONE of them hold a candle to HOW UTTERLY HORRIBLE the Spider Man movies that were made in the 70's were. I remember a few scenes from one...the horror...the horror....[1]

Moreover I don't feel like Lucas "destroyed my childhood" when he tinkered with the originals (which I'm old enough to have seen when they were first released) or when the prequels proved to be less than "OMG-EPIC!!!"

It's really only with Marvel's current run on The Avengers and the movies that led up to it that have served as proof that Hollywood's ability to produce quality super hero movies has reached maturity.

Looking down at all these other movies because they weren't canon or had lousy plots or whatever...seriously people, those are just growing pains for the genre in general.

Now come at me!!! I regret nothing!!!

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[1] Seriously, given the special effects in those days do any of you really need help in figuring out WHY such movies were nightmare material?

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