Would we care quite as much for this weekend’s spectacular X-Men: Days of Future Past if Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and the younger actors cast in X-Men: First Class failed in creating an origin universe for the mighty Marvel mutants? Probably not. Because the cast (and director Matthew Vaughn) created a vibrant, sympathetic and exciting X-Men universe in that prequel, Bryan Singer was able to connect the dots between First Class and his original X-Men trilogy for the decades-spanning Days of Future Past, which opens in theaters on Friday.
But it’s the continued development of the rich characters of Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and his rival, Magneto (Michael Fassbender), that continues to encourage us to invest in the sci-fi/comic machinations driving X-Men: Days of Future Past. This is summer-blockbuster escapism at its finest, delivering effects-enhanced thrills that serve a greater message about personal growth and acceptance. And when I sat down with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender in New York City as part of the X-Men: Days of Future Past junket, I wanted to talk about that growth and character development, and if that was what keeps them returning to these iconic roles:
Patrick Stewart returns to the role of Professor Charles Xavier, and brings the distinct pleasure of having worked with Bryan Singer from the first days of the X-Men franchise. Stewart collaborated with Brett Ratner on X-Men: The Last Stand, then stood on the sidelines for X-Men: First Class while Matthew Vaughn worked with a new ensemble. So I asked Stewart what it meant to have Bryan Singer back at the helm. His answer is touching but may be viewed as a little spoilery if you haven’t yet seen the film.
Speaking of spoilers, there has been a LOT of chatter about the addition of Quicksilver (Evan Peters) to the X-Men universe… particularly because those who keep up on their X-Men family tree know that Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is supposed to be Quicksilver’s father. There are several amusing hints in X-Men: Days of Future Past that let fans know Singer and his team are aware of this connection. But it’s never stated outright. So I dared to ask Fassbender in person if Magneto really is Quicksilver’s dad:
You see? Sometimes, all you have to do is ask!
To watch the complete interview with Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart and Ellen Page, click here. To catch up on our earlier interview with Hugh Jackman, click here. And to read my review of X-Men: Days of Future Past, click here.