James McAvoy of “X-Men” Shares His “Biggest Criticism” Regarding Prequel Films


Although Patrick Stewart reprised the role of Charles Xavier in his cameos in the films “Wolverine”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Logan”, in the 2010s James McAvoy mainly played junior Professor X in the era of prequel films about X-Men. In “X-Men: First Class”, “Days of the Past Future”, “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Dark Phoenix”, we watched how a version of the mutant telepath McEvoy founded his School for gifted youth and turns the X-Men into a force for good. It’s been a few years since McAvoy last played Professor X, and the actor shared his “biggest criticism” of the X-Men films he participated in.

During his interview with GQ, James McAvoy made it clear that he had a great time working on the X-Men franchise, calling it “one of the most positive experiences I’ve had with the studio,” and specifically mentioned “Days of Future Past” as “one of the best films” in which he was involved. However, looking back on this chapter of professional life, McAvoy mentioned that he was unhappy that the relationship between Professor X and Magneto was not investigated in detail after the 2011 film “X-Men: The First”. A training class. According to him:

My biggest criticism of what we did throughout the four films was that after the first film we didn’t take advantage of the relationship between [Xavier and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto], which really formed the basis of the first film. So why did we just throw away this massive weapon?

As the original X-Men films followed Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Ian McKellen’s Magneto long after their friendship ended due to differing views on how to improve the lives of mutants, X-Men: First Class provided a platform to show how the two became friends in the first place. Their shared interest in Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw, the main antagonist of the film, brought them together, but by the end of the film, Eric Lensherr realized that Shaw had the right idea that mutants needed to rule people, while Charles Xavier still believed in humans and mutants could peacefully coexist. It didn’t help that, reflecting the bullets intended for him, Eric accidentally sent one of them into Charles’ spine, paralyzing him.

Although the X-Men prequel films still featured James McAvoy’s Professor X and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto as the main characters, McAvoy is right that their relationship was not so emphasized. Of course, the paths of these two crossed here and there, but for the most part their personal paths were not as intertwined as in the First Class. By the end of Dark Phoenix, it seemed that Charles and Eric’s relationship had returned to its original state, but by that time the main series of X-Men films had run out of steam.

Fox’s era in X-Men films may have technically come to an end, but with Patrick Stewart playing Professor X from Earth-838 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Hugh Jackman playing the role of Wolverine in Deadpool 3, the day may come when James McAvoy and/or Michael Fassbender will return as Professor X and Magneto. But even if it happens in something like “Avengers: Secret Wars,” the proverbial ship sailed on these particular incarnations of the characters who were in the spotlight. Now we’re waiting for the MCU to unveil its rebooted versions of the X-Men, including Professor X and Magneto.

Disney+ subscribers can stream James McAvoy’s appearances in X-Men at their convenience, as well as watch other Marvel movies in order. HBO Max subscribers can see the actor playing Lord Asriel in “Dark Beginnings”, the premiere of the third and final season of which will take place on December 5.


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