“The original X-Men film began with a prologue that showed the character as a child being led to a concentration camp by Nazis and that is the period in which the Magneto film will take place. This setup will allow a future villain to at least flirt with the designation of protagonist since the character will be seen almost exclusively in his formative years. The storyline will heavily involve Professor X, the wheelchair-using X-Men leader. That character was a soldier in the Allied force that liberated the concentration camps. The professor meets Magneto after the war and while they bond over the realization that they are alike in their special powers, their differences soon turn them into enemies.”
Bentley notes that the original screenplay he read didn’t feature Professor X as an Allied soldier, but had him working in an Israel hospital helping victims of the war recover. This is keeping with Magneto’s comic book origin, where he meets Charles Xavier in a psychiatric hospital in Haifa. I’m not sure making him a member of Allied forces keeps with his image as an intellectual peacekeeper, but it certainly boosts his action cred when it comes to the X-Men films.
Early script reviews suggested Charles Xavier appeared only as a friend, and that the origin wouldn’t delve into their break. It certainly looks like that’s changed, and they are focused on making Magneto the hardline mutant he is supposed to be. Making a villain the center of an origin story is a bold move on the part of Fox, and I really hope they use the success of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” to fast-track the Master of Magnetism.
What do you think of the production plans for Magneto’s origin story? Do you think he can carry his own film? Or are supervillains best left as secondary characters, menacing our superheroes?