Last week was a flurry of superhero movie news (as discussed on the most recent Screen Rant Underground podcast). Between DC and Warner Bros.' announcement that Fast & Furious actress Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman in the Batman vs. Superman movie to the release of the first trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, geeks everywhere had plenty to talk about.
However, perhaps the most surprising revelation to rock the comic book community was the reveal that director Bryan Singer is following up X-Men: Days of Future Past - the much-anticipated time-travel adventure that will unite the casts of both the original X-Men trilogy and X-Men: First Class - with a tale even more potentially epic story, that of the immortal mutant known as Apocalypse. The character was, of course, the subject of a popular arc back in the 1990s, and the film adaptation's 1970s setting indicate that X-Men: Apocalypse may serve to round out the trilogy of films centering on the First Class cast led by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.
Now, according to Red Carpet News TV, McAvoy has confirmed that he is, in fact, contracted to star in an additional film, following his Days of Future Past appearance. While the actor said that he has yet to meet with Singer regarding the follow-up, McAvoy appears eager to play Professor Charles Xavier once more.
Here's what he had to say about his experience playing Professor X:
"The personal pleasure for me in First Class was in presenting a Charles Xavier to the fans – but also a new audience – who’s very different from the Charles that you expected … In the second movie, I get to present another version of Charles Xavier who’s still very different from the Charles that used to exist, but he’s also remarkably different from the Charles in First Class as well. So what’s great is that, even though it’s a sequel, even though it’s a franchise, I keep getting to reinvent Charles Xavier, and that’s amazing. I’ve got to do it twice now because the Charles in this film is unrecognizable from the Charles in the last film as well as unrecognizable from the Charles played by Patrick Stewart, who I then get to face up to. That’s sort of theatrical almost, it’s like we’re playing a game with the audience saying, ‘Look at the many faces of Charles-Patrick-Stewart-Xavier-McAvoy. It’s really good fun."
Ever since we had our first glimpse of McAvoy in character on the Days of Future Past set, it was clear that the character would be in a far darker place than in previous films. After all, First Class ended with the dissolution of his friendship with Fassbender's Magneto, his "sister" Mystique's turn to the dark side and the fateful moment that ultimately left him in a wheelchair. Needless to say, Xavier went through a lot in that film, and it's smart of Days of Future Past to develop the character's arc so truthfully, at least as indicated by the film's teaser trailer.
Furthermore, McAvoy's mention of his character's interaction with Patrick Stewart's older take on Professor X - while contradicting previous reports that the two would not share any scenes - supports the implication in the film's trailer that Stewart's Xavier at some point reaches out to his younger self, likely by reading the mind of a time-traveling Wolverine. In any case, it could prove to be one of the most memorable character moments of Days of Future Past, and hopefully, the film will lead to even further development for Xavier, allowing McAvoy to truly bridge the gap between his portrayal and Stewart's.
Are you glad that McAvoy is signed to return for another X-Men film? Do you hope the First Class cast sticks around beyond X-Men: Apocalypse, or are you eager for Fox to take the franchise in a new direction, such as the in-development X-Force film? Sound off in the comments.
X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters May 23, 2014, and its sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, is already set for a May 27, 2016 release.