Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

X-Men past and present stars unite

Sir Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender arriving at the X-Men Days of Future Past UK premiere at The West End Odeon, Leicester Square, London.
Sir Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender arriving at the X-Men Days of Future Past UK premiere at The West End Odeon, Leicester Square, London.

X-Men stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender came face-to-face with their older counterparts Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen at the rain-soaked UK premiere of their new superhero film.

The four actors were reunited on the blue carpet outside the Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London, days after the world premiere of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, in New York.

The London event is part of the X-Men X-perience global take-over, which sees the cast also attending premieres in Moscow, Melbourne, Beijing, Singapore and Sao Paulo.

Scottish actor McAvoy, 35, portrays the younger version of Professor Charles Xavier, who is played by Sir Patrick in his older years, while 37-year-old Fassbender and Sir Ian, 74, both play Erik Lensherr 'Magneto' in Bryan Singer's sequel.

McAvoy joked that sharing screen time with 73-year-old Sir Patrick was "terrible".

"It's my film now and I want it back. For the next one I want it all to myself," he said, adding: "It's amazing - twice the Charles and twice the fun."

He said that the latest instalment in the franchise will not disappoint fans, hundreds of whom braved the rain to meet the cast.

"It's epic. You've got two of the large big casts working today in one movie and it's double the fun," McAvoy said.

Singer, who directed the previous X-Men trilogy, handed over the directing reins of X-Men: First Class to Matthew Vaughn but has returned to Days Of Future Past. In a statement, he said he will not participate in any promotional duties for the film after being hit with a lawsuit for allegations of sexual abuse.

Fassbender complimented the film-maker, saying: "I didn't believe Bryan could reignite the whole superhero phenomenon that we are experiencing now so it seemed like he was the right person to bring the two casts together."

The award-nominated star of 12 Years A Slave, Shame and Hunger said he tried to channel Sir Ian's voice in his portrayal.

"There was something I found on YouTube - a workshop he did for Royal Shakespeare Company in the 70s. It was about seven minutes long and I watched that over and over," he said. "I figured I should do that because the stories run parallel and I didn't want to ask him to do my accent as it didn't seem appropriate."

A number of Singer's original cast including Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ellen Page and Anna Paquin have also reprised their roles alongside the franchise's newer stars including Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult in the follow-up to Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, which was released in 2011.

The new film sees Jackman's alter-ego Wolverine travelling back in time and persuading the characters to join forces with their younger selves to save the mutant species.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past opens in cinemas on May 22.

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