It’s safe to say that Sir Ian McKellen owns the role of Magneto at this point. Even with Michael Fassbender taking over the character for the past three X-Men films — alongside the original in Days Of Future Past — McKellan has added Magneto to the list of his iconic roles. Still, that doesn’t mean the role doesn’t leave the legendary actor with some disappointments, both about Magneto and superhero films as a whole. While chatting with Variety at the Cannes Lions, the actor talked about the current administrations views on the LGBT community and the lack of gay heroes in superhero films:
“I wouldn’t say the films coming out of the mainstream are quite as related to what’s going on in the real world as I would like them to be…One indication of that is LGBT people don’t really get quite a big enough say. If you’re one of those initials yourself, you do notice that actually these movies are not about me at all.”
It could be argued that the X-Men films and stories have always been about the marginalized groups around the world. That said, McKellan makes a good point and adds that the costumes and look of most superheroes would lend to them being gay. That’s what leads to his disappointment with Magneto. In the comics, Magneto has dressed in the purple spandex for a long time and certainly has a far louder outfit than his movie counterpart, making McKellan pine for those missed opportunities:
“Frankly looking at the images of some of these superheroes it’s a surprise to me they aren’t gay,” joked McKellen.
He expressed disappointment that his costume for Magneto isn’t quite as flamboyant as it was in the comics. “I wasn’t allowed to wear that outfit,” McKellen said. “I don’t look like Magneto in the comics — always shot from the crotch level.”
Worse yet, Michael Fassbender has gotten a chance to wear something closer to the comic Magneto costume on two occasions. And even in his return to the role in Days Of Future Past, McKellan was stuck wearing some black armored piece. You gotta feel for the guy. They could’ve at least let him fly around in a gaudy costume in Brett Ratner’s addition to the series.