There’s no doubt who the X-Men’s main fight is with in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. After all, his name is right there in the title. The near-omnipotent Apocalypse isn’t fighting the X-Men by himself, though; he will be getting help from his Four Horsemen: Storm, Archangel, Psylocke, and Magneto.

Magneto has long been the X-Men’s foil in both the comic books and the movies, following a more militant path to the liberation of mutants than his old friend, the pacifist Charles Xavier. While his pessimism about humans and mutants peacefully coexisting has often led to Magneto being in a sort of moral gray area, there will be a little less of that gray area in X-Men: Apocalypse. Instead, his alliance with Apocalypse will lead to what actor Michael Fassbender, who will continue playing the role of Magneto in the upcoming film, calls a “more extreme” version of the character.

Screen Rant was on the set of X-Men Apocalypse last July and had an opportunity to speak with Fassbender about his take on Magneto. In addition to telling us why Magneto agrees to serve Apocalypse, he also told us how this ends up pushing his character in a darker, more destructive direction:

Screen Rant: Does he not make any connection between Apocalypse and the people that he saw in the concentration camp?

Fassbender: No because we needed him to join Apocalypse in order for the script to work (laughter). I think that’s the classic thing of any sort of megalomaniac there are huge contradictions and hypocrisies within it. It’s almost like sometimes the worst dictators start off as complete idealists, and that almost makes them more extreme in their dictatorship later. So absolutely, what Apocalypse is doing is echoing that, but for him at that point I think it’s just about, “Okay I’m gonna bring as much pain to the human race as they’ve brought me and basically wipe them out once and for all.”

In a way, it’s a more extreme, more effective version of how we’ve seen him in the past. It’s definitely the most extreme version of that, but I think he’s just come to a point where he’s been pushed to that place where he doesn’t care anymore, he’s kind of dead inside. In order to make that link with Apocalypse it was a really helpful thing to have that story at the beginning with Magda. In a way, it’s like that classic thing of joining any cult or radical group, [Apocalypse] has caught him at a very low, vulnerable point where he doesn’t really care anymore whether he dies or not or what happens, so he’s like, “Yeah I’ll join this guy. I’ll go on this path of judgment.” Apocalypse is sort of bringing judgment to the Earth.

X Men Apocalypse Movie Magneto X Men Apocalypse: Michael Fassbender Promises a More Extreme Magneto


Given the enhanced powers Magneto receives from Apocalypse, it’s easy to see how he will manage to be both more extreme and more effective. Magneto’s powers have at times reached epic levels in the comic books as he has done everything from pull the adamantium off of Wolverine’s bones to build an orbital base in Earth’s orbit. X-Men: Days of Future Past saw him moving an entire stadium, so we can expect him to be pulling off some pretty epic feats under Apocalypse’s influence in order to top that one.

Despite all of Magneto’s evildoing, though, he always seems to return to the side of the good guys at some point or another. Will he go down fighting on Apocalypse’s behalf in X-Men: Apocalypse, or will he eventually see the error of his ways and fight alongside his old friend Charles Xavier? Naturally Fassbender did not give away any of those plot details when we spoke to him, but if he is to continue as part of the X-Men movie universe then Magneto will need to find a way to survive the Age of Apocalypse.

For more quotes and reveals from our X-Men: Apocalypse set visit, check out the links below:

Deadpool opens in theaters February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and an unannounced X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.