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Before the word “mutant” could even be uttered in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, prior to the Disney-Fox merger, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy helped round out Fox’s X-Men franchise with the prequel series focused on a young Magneto and Professor X. Despite the movie series ending on a low note with Dark Phoenix, Fassbender shared fond thoughts about the work he did as the complicated Marvel villain.
In between a recent conversation Michael Fassbender had for his latest movie, Netflix’s The Killer, the Irish actor shared his thoughts on his four-movie stint as Magneto. In his words:
I think I had a great run. I thoroughly enjoyed it. By the time Dark Phoenix was over, yeah, it was like… It was lucky, we had a fantastic run of it.
Where Did Dark Phoenix Stack Up?
Fassbender joined the X-Men: First Class cast in 2010 in Oxford, England to shoot the origins of Magneto. The prequel films successfully revitalized the Marvel franchise just as the Marvel Cinematic Universe was getting its start. While First Class wasn’t an explosive hit by any means, making $352.6 million worldwide, it earned vastly positive reviews and set the stage for its 2014 sequel, Days of Future Past, to become a massive moment for the X-Men series.
However, from there, the X-Men prequels that also famously starred Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique had a rather steady decline between 2016’s Apocalypse and 2019’s bomb of a superhero film, Dark Phoenix, which had a rough Rotten Tomatoes score and CinemaBlend gave the movie a 1.5 out of 5 in our Dark Phoenix review. The latter also had the worst box office performance for an X-Men film prior to The New Mutant’s 2020 flop.
All things considered, Fassbender told the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he is proud of the run he had as Magneto and “thoroughly enjoyed” playing the comic book character. Though as he joked earlier in the interview:
No, the pressure was getting to me in the end, moving stuff all the time on demand, all these kids asking me to do it.
Fassbender shared that he doesn’t necessarily miss Magneto’s helmet and he thought overall that the run of the story came to a “natural conclusion.” According to X-Men filmmaker Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix was always supposed to cap off the X-Men movies, too, so it’s not like the actor necessarily missed out on an extended run as Magneto either.
While most of us can agree some of the franchise’s storyline decisions were misguided, Michael Fassbender always delivered an incredible performance as Magneto and certainly brought some added dimension to the mutant previously portrayed by Ian McKellen. Michael Fassbender has since moved on from the X-Men, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is putting pawns in place to reboot the world of mutants for its extended universe.
We’ll see this in a big way with upcoming Marvel movies including Deadpool 3, starring Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, which expected to come to theaters July 26, 2024.