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Michael Fassbender ponders Magneto’s loyalties in “X-Men: First Class” sequel

Michael Fassbender says he is “open” to starring in “Robocop” (photo)

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It’s been a while since our last update on a potential sequel for “X-Men: First Class,” last year’s critically praised film that took Marvel’s famous mutants back to their early days and cast Michael Fassbender as their former ally and eventual arch enemy, Magneto.

With Fassbender turning up in films almost everywhere you look lately (the latest “Haywire” opening tomorrow), IFC managed to get a few moments with him to find out what’s in store for the mutant master of magnetism, and what he knows about the next film’s status.

Asked how he’d characterize his role in the first film — which seemed to be both hero and villain at times — Fassbender said that ambiguity was entirely intentional, and something they’d like to carry through in future installments.

“I get where [Magneto] is coming from, that’s for sure — having read the source material, the comic books,” he explained. “From what we know with human beings, history has told us that we’re a pretty destructive race, so you can see where he’s coming from. It’s always interesting for me to have the villains doing positive things as well as negative or destructive things. I just think it’s more realistic.”

“It’s like the actions will define the character . . . but it’s more about making sure that it’s intelligently written and there’s a real driving force, there’s real drama there, relationships are interesting, and that it’s not lazy in anyway,” he continued. “A lot of the times I think with action films, the plot can be pretty weak because it’s taking a back seat to the action sequences and the special effects. What we wanted to do with ‘X-Men’ was definitely the reverse of that. We wanted to really focus on the characters and the plot and then have the action sequence there to sort of enhance the story.”

And the balance established in “First Class” between action, character development, and plot is expected to measure out similarly in any sequels — at least as far as Fassbender and co-star James McAvoy understand it.

“Hopefully we’ll get to do another one; that’s what we want to carry that vein through for sure,” he told IFC. “Personally, I do and I know James feels the same.”

Referencing the on-again, off-again friendship between McAvoy’s character, Charles Xavier, and Fassbender’s magnetic mutant in the Marvel Comics universe, Fassbender hinted that there’s always the possibility that they’ll be on the same side again. Although if their comic-book history is any indication, it could take another threat bigger than both of them to bring the former friends together.

“You know what’s interesting about Magneto and Professor X from the comic books as well, is there’s such a complexity to their relationship,” he explained. “It’s not just like clear-cut enemies; they’re best friends as well. In the comic books, even after they’ve had this sort of rift, Professor X asks Magneto to come back and look after the students at certain points.”

“I think there’s always that complexity in their relationship,” he said. “And we want to keep that alive as possible, because that’s I think a really interesting thing — the conflict there.”

What would you like to see in the “X-Men: First Class” sequel? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.