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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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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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