It’s curious that while Hollywood seems to be making less movies in general, we are entering a summer that features no less than four big-budget superhero blockbusters — including this Friday’s release of X-Men: First Class.
“It’s probably down to the fact that maybe less people are going to the cinema and so they make films that are large in scale where you would want to go see it on a big screen,” offered star Michael Fassbender recently from New York.
“Genres take hold and they run for a while — I would say that’s one of the reasons (superhero movies hold up).”
It probably doesn’t hurt that X-Men: First Class is also the prequel to a very successful franchise that began as pulp fiction in 1963.
The beginning of the saga, X-Men: First Class features the original mutant superheroes and how the once-upright Magneto (Fassbender) turned against his friend Charles Xavier (James McAvoy).
“There’s such an incredible history there,” said McAvoy of the franchise’s legacy. “But the main thing that runs through all the X-Men saga — whether it’s the comic books, cartoon-form or movies — is that sense of the outsider being the character that you’re exploring ... that has to be one reason why it’s stuck around for so long.”
The previous films surely added fans to the franchise, as well.
However, McAvoy and Fassbender weren’t intimidated by expectations of portraying the respective roles that Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart defined in the movies.
“I definitely watched the films,” said Fassbender.
“I was going to study Ian McKellan, perhaps as a young man and his movements, nuances, voice and then decided not to do that and just use the source material available in the comic books — to just take a totally fresh look at it, wipe the slate clean and go for something new.”