James McAvoy Talks X-Men Sequels, Going Bald

James McAvoy plays young Professor Charles Xavier, aka Professor X in Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class”, opening everywhere today. If McAvoy has his way, he wouldn’t mind coming back for one, maybe even two more sequels to the prequel. The film looks like it’s tracking very well with audiences, and the reviews have certainly been superlative, though coming after Brett Ratner’s “X-Men: The Last Stand”, that might be something of a given. Haven’t you heard? Fanboys HATE Ratner and LOVE Vaughn.

The actor tells the LATimes’ Hero Complex:

Ideally you have a story arc that lasts three movies and at the end of the third it leaves you ready for the story in ‘X-Men 1’. It would be nice to explore things in two more films. In this one, Magneto has gone through his major metamorphosis; he kind of found himself. Charles is dealing with his new life and [issues that present themselves] in this movie. And we still are left with the big question: How does he lose his hair? In the comic books there’s a very clear and easy answer, but we didn’t go with that. In the comics it happened when he was very young and when his powers activated. We’ve obviously gone away from that. Now, obviously, we can’t start the next movie with him bald. Not only is that easy and cheap, we’d be passing up an opportunity for a cool story point. I don’t know what it is — we need to come up with something that justifies doing it. Maybe he got some dodgy Australian shampoo….

McAvoy goes on to talk about the realities of the film business in terms of sequels, and seems very practical, much more so than I usually hear from your typical actor. Essentially: if it makes money, they’ll make more. If not, then probably not.

He adds about possible sequel storylines:

I’ve lots of ideas. I know Michael and I are very much on the same page all the time and we’ll be weighing in to protect that relationship between the two characters. One of the things about this movie is: In all the others Magneto is your bad guy and Professor X and the X-Men are the good guys; in this one, it’s not like that. It’s much more sophisticated or complex, at least, and we need to come up with a way to do that moving forward. The next movie, if there is one, shouldn’t just start off with them being pals again, but I think it also shouldn’t be like the first movies only set in the 1960s. If we get another, let’s not just make Magneto the bad guy; of course he’s a bad-ass and of course he has a whole different ethos, but making a movie that is black-and-white is going to lose the thing that we have in this one…. In the comics, Magneto goes back and forth, there are times when they are friends, there are times when he’s running the school. In the first Fox movie, if you want to be a fanboy about it, Patrick Stewart says … that ‘Erik Lehnsherr helped me build Cerebro,’ which is like Professor X’s Death Star. And it is like the Death Star in the other movies, it’s forever being built or being destroyed.

We’ll find out by Monday if they’ll be one, maybe even two more “X-Men: First Class”…