Frenzied X-Men Fans Find Solace at Actor's Website

Ian McKellen Responds to Questions About Upcoming Movie

  Sir Ian McKellen 
Los Angeles, California

For Immediate Release
Monday, 10 July 2000
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Los Angeles --  One of the most anticipated movies of the summer, 20th Century Fox's X-MEN has been a controversial topic on the Internet, with a heated buzz that began long before director Bryan Singer shot the first scene. Based on Marvel's biggest-selling comic series of all time, the film has raised the expectations of devoted fans who have their own ideas about how their favorite X-Men should look, dress, and behave -- and the filmmakers have been feeling the pressure.

Legions of online "fanboys" -- and girls -- have been scrutinizing every aspect of the film's production, analyzing leaks of plot details, dissecting rumors, and examining the minutiae of sketches and photographs of the characters and their costumes. In addition to discussion boards and forums at over 25 fan sites devoted to the film, they've had a unique venue for venting their concerns: by email to one of the leading actors, Sir Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters, Apt Pupil), who has been posting his responses at his official home page at www.mckellen.com. Typical rants: Why is your hero's uniform black instead of blue? ("The world of X-MEN is not a Halloween Ball, after all.") Why is my favorite X-MEN character not in the movie ("If everyone's favourite character were to be in the movie, it would have to be as long as the comic. Are you prepared to sit through a 35-year-long film?")

According to Sir Ian, "The interest in our movie is intense, witness the gossip and speculation on the various websites. At one point there were rumors on the Internet that the movie's release had been postponed and even that Bryan Singer had been replaced as director!"

The original release date of December 2000 was, in fact, moved up from December 2000 to July 14, and Bryan Singer recently put the finishing touches on his film.

Sir Ian, who plays Magneto, the leader of the "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants" in X-MEN, sees the Internet ushering in a new era of film criticism and coverage. "I'm enjoying trying to understand it. I'm not too sure why the studios and the fansites seem to be in such opposition. Maybe moviemakers don't want to admit that there is a new source of criticism on the Net. But one that is amazingly informed and run by fans. The passion in the postings about X-Men is refreshing after the careful cinema journalism of the major newspapers wherever I travel. The industry will eventually embrace the already open arms of the best sites as they have done the Golden Globe and other television shows."

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