Ian McKellen Reportedly Returning as ‘Magneto’ – Patrick Stewart Claims, “We’re Not Done”

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Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto in 'X-Men' (2000)

Credit: 20th Century Fox Pictures

Could audiences see Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen as Professor X and Magneto again?

Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto in 'X-Men' (2000)
Credit: 20th Century Fox Pictures

The first superhero film of the new century, X-Men (2000), was a film to be reckoned with. Combining elements from the Marvel Comics, X-Men: The Animated Series, and modern pop culture, it was somehow both a faithful adaptation and a new take on the classic team. Much of the success of that film, and the subsequent franchise, has to do with the outstanding performances and chemistry of the cast, including Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Sir Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier, and Sir Ian McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto.

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Related: Kevin Feige Opens Up About ‘X-Men’ Reveal

It was an ingenious thing to do, casting not only two friends to play Xavier (Stewart) and Magneto (McKellen) but two classically trained veterans of the Royal Shakesperean Acting Company and stars of stage and screen. Whereas many actors might not have taken a superhero role seriously, these two played it as seriously as they would any other role, lending a real authenticity to otherwise mythical roles. Audiences believed them because they believed in what they were saying and doing.

X-Men: Days of Future Past Full Cast Poster
Credit: 20th Century Fox Pictures

That’s nothing to say of their chemistry on screen. Often disregarded in Hollywood, the way actors interact with each other plays a major role: as anyone familiar with the industry knows, acting is reacting, listening, and responding to what the other actors on stage or on screen are saying at the moment. Audiences believed that Lehnsherr (McKellen) and Xavier (Stewart) were friends because, just like their dialogue, they believed it! It was a fantastic pairing.

Sir Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellen
Credit: Ian McKellen

In recent years, characters and actors from the X-Men franchise have slowly been making a comeback. Inside the Magic has already reported on Hugh Jackman reprising his role as Wolverine (Jackman) for Deadpool 3 (2024) alongside Ryan Reynolds, and Patrick Stewart even came back as Charles Xavier in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) in his classic bright yellow hoverchair. As mutants are becoming more and more common in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans have to ask: what does the future hold for the X-Men?

Patrick Stewart as Professor X in 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' (2022)
Credit: Marvel Studios

The answer to that may be unclear as of yet, but Patrick Stewart just teased the return of one more mutant! In an interview with ET, covered by The Direct, Stewart discussed both his return for Picardas well as Multiverse of Madness. The star discussed the cameo role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and mentioned an interaction he’d had with McKellen discussing his return to the character:

“Actually, it went very well. He did say something like [‘Hey, I would’ve done this!’], yes that’s true…But we’re not done, Sir Ian and myself. We’re… we got plans.”

This comes after comments by Stewart that he’d be asked to “Stand by” concerning Deadpool 3. Could fans see a larger X-Men reunion than initially expected in the upcoming R-Rated Marvel film? It’s definitely a possibility, and if Marvel Studios is able to handle their return more in line with Spider-Man: No Way Home  (2021) rather than Multiverse of Madness, it’s sure to be a hit. The real question would be: how would Sir Ian McKellen’s return as Magneto serve the plot and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole?

Sir Ian McKellen as Magneto in 'X-Men' (2000)
Credit: 20th Century Fox Pictures

Related: Hugh Jackman Opens Up About Steroid Allegations For ‘X-Men’ Role

Whatever happens, fans are still extremely excited about the return of Wolverine (Jackman) and to see what happens in the first R-rated film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Details are still scant about Deadpool 3 but fans can expect to see the film in theaters sometime in 2024, with Ryan Reynolds reprising his role as the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Leslie Uggams as Blind Al, and Emma Corrin in an undisclosed role.

Would you like to see Sir Ian McKellen return as Magneto? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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