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By now, the actors in the X-Men ensemble should know their characters almost as well as they know themselves. Core cast members like James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have been occupying the roles of Charles Xavier and Magneto, respectively, for the better part of four films now – dating back to 2011’s X-Men: First Class – so they have tangible experience to draw off of when they return to the role for the next sequel.
But when it comes to a storyline like Dark Phoenix, which is inspired by a very popular comic book series, I was genuinely curious how much the cast pulls from the book and how much they rely on what they have established themselves in the mutant community. Do they need the comic, or would they prefer to lean on what they created themselves in movies like X-Men: Apocalypse, or X-Men: Days of Futures Past.
Michael Fassbender, as it turns out, pulls something very specific from the X-Men comics as he prepares. During an X-Men press day in London, the actor tells CinemaBlend:
I refer to the comic book primarily for the action beats. And it’s really just simply to find various poses. It was kind of cool in this film because… the grimacing behind the helmet, in a cartoon it’s quite a cool image. And I thought, ‘Ok, it’s an opportunity to take that image and put it into the film.’ Or you know, various poses that Magneto has. Sometimes he has this lotus pose when he’s flying or hovering. … For me, I’ll have those images for inspirational, physical beats.
And there’s an excellent scene in Dark Phoenix where Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) is manipulating the blades of a helicopter, and Magneto (Fassbender) uses his own gifts to resist her and protect the soldiers who are still in the vehicle. It allows Fassbender to strike some menacing, intense Magneto poses that no doubt were lifted straight from the comics.
For now, check out a clip of our Dark Phoenix conversation with Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy:
And go see Dark Phoenix, the culmination of the X-Men saga, which is in theaters as we speak.