The relationship between Professor X and Magneto in the comics has always been one of the most prominent staples of the X-Men—something that one previous Marvel actor feels was left out of previous movies.
When it comes to live-action, both of those characters have been played by two different actors. Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender have brought Magneto to life, while Professor X has been embodied by Patrick Stewart (who last shows up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) and James McAvoy.
Both have vastly different approaches to handling their issues, particularly that of anti-mutant sentiments. Xavier tends to always see the best in people and vie for a peaceful approach, while Magneto is far more brutalist and violent.
These vastly different approaches create really dynamic and interesting situations and relationships, something that an actor from First Class feels those later films didn't utilize enough.
McAvoy Criticizes Fox's Handling of Magneto
In an interview with GQ Magazine, X-Men: First Class actor James McAvoy, who played Professor X, admitted how he felt regarding a key failing of his time at Fox with the franchise.
First, he made it clear that those films were "one of the most positive experiences [he's] had with the studio:"
“It was one of the most positive experiences I've had with a studio. I don't really [see them as just] money gigs. Days of Future Past I think is one of the better films that I've been involved in.”
McAvoy went on to share that "[his] biggest criticism" of what Fox did with the characters was how they "didn't take advantage of the relationship between [Xavier and Michael Fassbender's Magneto]:"
“My biggest criticism of what we did throughout the four movies was that after the first movie, we didn't take advantage of the relationship between [Xavier and Michael Fassbender’s Magneto], which really formed the backbone of the first film. So it was like, why did we just eject that massive weapon?”
How Will the MCU Handle Magneto & Xavier?
Many fans would likely agree with the same sentiment voiced by McAvoy. Thankfully, there will be plenty of time for Marvel Studios to correct any of Fox's failings when it comes time for them to introduce its own adaptations of mutants in the MCU.
While that day might be a long way off (maybe as late as Phase 7), Marvel Studios will hopefully play more into the dynamic between Professor X and Magneto. After all, their entire relationship is a metaphorical gold mine when it comes to drama.
Perhaps they can play off the story arc from X-Men: The Animated Series, where the two of them find themselves trapped in the Savage Lands—a location filled with prehistoric beasts that Marvel Studios Kevin Feige has tried to use previously.
Might fans one day see James McAvoy back in the role of Professor X to help fix Fox's failings? Well, according to the actor himself, he doesn't miss playing the character and admitted to "feel[ing] quite satisfied with what [he] got out of [the character] as a performer."
As great as it is to see old actors return to their classic roles, the MCU will one day have its own versions of Professor X and Magneto.