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X-Men: First Class Character Profile: Magneto

How closely will movie Magneto be to his comic book counterpart?

Magneto has always been a complex character. Throw in the fact that he's a major character in X-Men: First Class and that complexity gets amped up even further. Again, the point here isn't to complain that the movie is in its own continuity (just like Ultimate Comics are different than the 616-Universe). We want to look at who is Magneto in the comics, what do the (many) trailers tell us and how would we like to see him portrayed in the movie.

Magneto was supposed to have been born in 1929. With the movie taking place in 1963, that works. He was born to a German Jewish family and they were killed after they fled to Poland. He escaped but was captured and sent to Auschwitz. Here, he was reunited with a girl, Magda, he had fallen in love with while he was young. They escaped and this is when he changed his name to Magnus. They had a daughter that was killed, which sparked his anger against normal humans.

Changing his name to Erik Lehnsherr, he eventually met Charles Xavier. They discussed their views on the evolution of man and mutantkind but soon realized their ideals differed too much. Erik became Magneto and has been both an enemy and ally to the Xavier's team of mutants, the X-Men.

How much of this will carry over into the movie?

== TEASER ==

The main thing is we're not clear on whether or not this movie is actually in the same continuity of the other X-Men films. The trailers have used a couple images in the "Before he was Magneto" portion. It's clear that he will still have his same childhood. This has always been a major factor in establishing who he is and who he will become. It's probably safe to assume that he did not have a child that died or became the father of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver before meeting Charles Xavier.

The biggest difference is Magneto remains by Charles' side longer than he did in the comics. Magneto is there at the beginning of the X-Men's formation. In the comics, it wasn't until Uncanny X-Men #200 that he put aside his evil ways and agreed to become headmaster and teacher for Xavier's younger team, the New Mutants. This movie shows us a point in Magneto's life where he could still take his destiny in the direction of good or evil.

Assuming he's willing to play by Xavier's rules in order to be part of his team, something must happen that forces Magneto over the edge. Taking place in 1963, we've seen the team takes the blackbird and goes into enemy territory. With the power and abilities Magneto possesses, he can easily dispatch a threat. In one scene, a guard comes at him with a knife and Magneto forces the guard to stab himself. Xavier may not be completely prim and proper but I don't think he would approve of killing unless there was no other option.

There's also the question of Mystique's role. If this movie does follow the timeline of the other movies, we know she remains one of his loyal followers. Mystique's journey in this movie seems conflicted. She appears to be an innocent young mutant trying to figure out her place in the world and on Xavier's team. We have seen in a TV spot that she meets a young Charles Xavier as a child, which puts them at about the same age. It's unclear whether or not Xavier is aware the blonde and human looking Mystique is the same blue-skinned girl he met as a kid. But Magneto discovers her secret. Does he keep it from Charles, thus strengthening her loyalty to him or is Charles already aware?

X-Men: First Class might be about Xavier and the formation of the X-Men but it's clear that a big part of this movie is dedicated to Magneto. We will see him transform from friend and (possibly) co-creator of the X-Men to the red helmet-wearing mutant terrorist. Seeing what could be the one incident that pushes him over the edge is something I'm looking forward to seeing in this movie.

It feels like this needs to be a longer movie. To have him go from Charles' friend to wearing his gray helmet to finally wearing the entire red ensemble seems like something that would take more than one movie. Then again, the movie is reported at being 140 minutes. Speculation is they are betrayed by the U.S. government but that doesn't seem to be enough of a reason. What is it that makes him turn on Xavier and the ideals he agreed to? Who betrays him and how much does Magneto lose or suffer to become a terrorist?

28 Comments
Posted by skaterpunk97

i can't wait to watch the movie!

Posted by Sobe Cin


To be perfectly honesty- I don't want to speculate- I just want to wait until the movie comes out and watch the story unfolds. I've been looking forward to First Class since it's inception. I love the X-Men and what they represent in comics. And I love seeing the transistion the characters make from comic book to live action; I was somewhat disappointed in Thor. However much I enjoyed Loki's character, I could not really carefor Thor himself. So with First Class coming, I am really looking forward to it. And with the casting that it has done, it should be impressive.

 

As for Mystique- Why does she have to have the blue little scales on her? Can't they just give her blue skin- After ten years (and the creation of Avatar) making blue people in the movies can't be that hard. Plus in the trailer we see her wearing one of the uniforms. Enough griping, bring on the movie.

Posted by Lurkin

I can't wait either.  No matter what, I am going to enjoy the movie as long as it's entertaining and sticks true to the characters powers and has a good script. 

Posted by jubilee042

im worrried that it would not be a hit .....................................i hope that my doubt never comes true

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

i really want the movie to be a hit! 140 minutes! I can hold my pee for that long, I did for X3.

Posted by Elenatintil

In the recently released clip "Magic Trick" we do see Mystique reveal her powers in front of Xavier. This appears to be fairly early in the film, so it would seem that Xavier is aware of exactly who she is from pretty much the beginning.

Posted by Burnstar1230

I want to like this movie, I really do, but I just don't see it doing all that well in the box office. The way they're promoting it in the media, it reminds me of that Chun-Li movie from a couple of years ago.

Posted by LordMaverick

This movie will be great!...................
Posted by sladewilson30

probably done of it, except for the names he uses
Posted by mightybob3000

Why doesn't Sony base these off of any single X-Men series?

Posted by cattlebattle
@lurkin said:
I can't wait either.  No matter what, I am going to enjoy the movie as long as it's entertaining and sticks true to the characters powers and has a good script. 
agreed 100 %
Posted by Out_of_Space

I can't wait for the movie too. I really hope they don't fucked it up like X-Men 3.

Posted by goldenkey

I have a feeling this movie is gonna be a big surprise at how good it's going to be.   It's obvious it's going to change the comic adaptions as the other films did so why are people actually asking this question?  It just looks fun and I can't wait to see it. 
Posted by DoctorTrips

The one reason I'm most excited about seeing this is that it's set in the 1960s - I wish we could see more comic book films set in the years that they were actually made and were best in.

That and Michael Fassbender as Magneto is very likely going to kick some major ass.

Posted by cmaprice

My problem is if they show him going evil in this film, it discounts the fact that a significantly older looking Erik was with a bald Charles when Jean was brought to the Institute. In the event they make more First Class films, I think it'd be foolish to end Magneto's involvement inside the team on this one as opposed to letting the conflict stew for another film.

Posted by Shadow_Thief

What's going to make or break this portrayal of the character for me is not how it matches up with the events of the comic continuity, but rather how it matches up with the personality of the continuity. A true fan should be able to look at every line and every action the character takes and say "yeah, that's something Magneto would say/do."
Take Liev Schreiber's version of Sabretooth from the Wolverine Origins film. He certainly didn't look like the Sabretooth I knew, and the film took liberties with the established canon the way Nazi Germany took liberties with Poland, but he nailed the character. Sabretooth was one of the few redeeming features of that film.

Posted by Eyz
@mightybob3000 said:
Why doesn't Sony base these off of any single X-Men series?
This doesn't have anything to do with Sony.
It's "20th Century Fox" X-men series :P
As in "Random plots, lackbuster budget and action sequences and mixing up names, characters and stories without making sense for the sake of the fanboys who'll like some bits of the movie and will see it enough times to make money off 'em". - yep, that's quite a mouthful..
Posted by Wingfoot


Hi !

 

At the end of the first trailer, Eric says : "Peace, my friend, is never an option."

 

For me, all the character stands in these words.

 

Hihane washte.

Posted by tbpinkfloyd

Charles does meet Mystique as a child and she grows to be his assistant

Posted by Ms. Omega

I cant wait to see this


Posted by PowerHerc


It's good to see Magneto's background given some much due attention. 

He's a very complex character.  Quite different from the typical super-villain.

Posted by OceanicSS

Shouldnt Xaiver know about mystic's true form? i mean after all he can read minds
Posted by Ult_GBandit

He'll probably end up Red Magneto at the very end... That red Magneto pic is probably the ending of the film or near end..

Posted by Mahtu

This movie can't be in the same continuity as the other films because in Wolverine Origins Xavier found Emma, Scott, and Quiksilver at the same time, which would mean Scott would be in this film to stay in line with the first 3.  Also, at the end of Wolverine when Xavier comes out of the helicopter he's already bald and since that was his first time meeting Emma how can he have hair in a film where she's a prominent character?

Posted by Mahtu

@AngelDust616 I don't have a problem with them breaking continuity from the comics.  okay, that's a lie, it drives me nuts, but come on they should at LEAST keep continuity with the other movies!!!! How can you make a cohesive story if you're constantly changing things? ugh.

Posted by WolverineBeatsAll

this movie is gay just like the first class comic magneto should be in auschwitz.