X-Men Actor Criticizes Fox For Mishandling Mutants

By Mark McKee | Published

james mcavoy X-Men James McAvoy

If you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’ve been waiting a long time to see some of the most popular comic characters make their debut, the X-Men. While the team of mutants is primarily responsible for the MCU‘s success based on their Fox movie franchise, X-Men leader James McAvoy told Gentleman’s Quarterly Magazine that he had one considerable criticism from his time on set.

Specifically, the actor believes they needed to do more to capitalize on the relationship between the leader of the X-Men, James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier, and the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants, Eric Lehnsherr, AKA Magneto. 

According to the actor, X-Men was one of the more positive experiences for James McAvoy, but he does believe they moved away from one of the most compelling characteristics of the franchise. In the comics, the dynamic between the two characters mirrors what we see in the real world, one that has one side meeting hate with an equal amount of hate the way Magneto does with humans; the other meeting the hatred with compassion like Professor X. Both the original and soft reboot prequels began with that focus, but unfortunately moved away from them in later films. 

X-Men James McAvoy

Patrick Stewart was the first to bring Xavier to life in the turn of the century comic book adaptation, X-Men, which served to jumpstart the superhero boom. The film seemed to be a commentary on hate and how both oppressed and oppressor approach the subject, with Xavier opposing Magneto’s impending war on humans.

While the film saw Ian McClellan’s Magneto start to build a rebellion against humans, the franchise focused more on introducing new characters and storylines while moving away from that dynamic. 

By the time X-Men got a soft reboot in the form of prequels, James McAvoy had taken over the role of Xavier, and Michael Fassbender took on the part of Magneto. The first film, X-Men: First Class, showcased the meeting of the two leaders of their respective groups and even gave us a peek into how Professor X ends up in a wheelchair.

As the franchise went on, it fell into the same trap as its predecessor by focusing on adding new characters and began to ignore the dynamic of the two leads. 

The team of mutants will inevitably make their debut in the MCU, and when the X-Men show up, we can hope that James McAvoy will reprise his role. If he does, it looks like he will have one demand, that he and Fassbender’s Magneto get an opportunity to be the franchise’s centerpiece. We can’t help but agree that to bring the X-Men from the comics to the screen, the most important relationship should be the primary focus, while all other storylines serve only to reinforce it. 

If you haven’t been up on the X-Men actor’s history, James McAvoy nearly died before getting in shape for his role in the Unbreakable sequel, Glass. After beating the rare condition that nearly killed him, McAvoy has been steadily working ever since. The franchise may be finished over at Fox, but it’s clear that McAvoy still has unfinished business with the character, and we, for one, hope for a return to set it right.