The trade publication Variety broke the news first: “David Goyer will direct ‘Magneto,’ the ‘X-Men’ spinoff in development from 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios that centers on the villain played in the original trilogy by Ian McKellen.”
McKellen will not be a central part of Goyer’s production, because as an origin story it will center on a younger Magneto, as was long rumored. The title character will come to grips with mastering his mutant abilities while he struggles through life at the concentration camps of Auschwitz. The trade alleges that Charles Xavier will play a soldier who helps liberate the camp. As a young man, Magneto will hone his abilities by hunting down Nazi war criminals, and that thirst for revenge will take him from being an ally of Xavier to an enemy.
This period drama doesn’t have a release date, scheduled to follow Fox’s “Wolverine” spin off. The film will follow a slew of property films from the House of Ideas at multiple studios: Sony’s “Spider-Man 3” sets off the summer next week and June takes us back to the Baxter Building with “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” from Fox. Next May we’ll see Robert Downey, Jr. in “Iron Man” from Paramount Pictures and Universal’s “The Incredible Hulk” starring Edward Norton next June. This means a “Magneto” film couldn’t be in cineplexes any earlier than 2009, and given that “Wolverine” isn’t listed on that schedule, will probably bow in 2010.
Goyer will probably need the time — although he parted ways with “The Flash” and Warner Brothers, his “Supermax” script featuring Green Arrow thrown into jail, remains in development and he’s pushing for that sale, as “Magneto” will mean directing a script from Sheldon Turner that has not been reported as completed.
Goyer’s credibility amongst fans is solid after writing the last two “Blade” films and serving as an executive producer for the short lived television series, as well as getting story credit on both Christopher Nolan-helmed Batman films.
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