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  04-27-2007, 10:07 AM
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Magneto has no trouble attracting metal. Now, Hollywood's banking on him pulling in an audience.

Twentieth Century Fox has teamed up with Marvel Studios to begin production on the second planned X-Men spinoff, this time focusing on the superbaddie played by Ian McKellen.

The long-gestating Magneto has no official start date and will wait until the first planned X-Men spinoff, Wolverine, is completed before revving up production. However, that film has yet to find a director.

Unlike Wolverine, in which Hugh Jackman will reprise his role from the first three X-Men outings, Magneto will probably only feature a marginal part, if any, for McKellen.

* Whedon Out of Wonder; Levy Back in a Flash
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* Hungry Like a "Wolverine" for Spinoff

E! Online

Per the trades, the film will be an origin story, showing the powerful mutant in his early days when he was still friends with a young Charles Xavier, played in the films by Patrick Stewart. The movie will reportedly show Magneto coming to grips with his metallic-attracting powers while living in Auschwitz with his parents, and his subsequent quest for vengeance against both his Nazi captors and anti-mutant factions.

Both the characters of Magneto and Professor X will be played by actors in their 20s, though the roles have yet to be cast.

David Goyer will helm the project, brining along comic credentials honed while writing and directing Blade: Trinity, as well as penning Batman Begins.

Goyer joined the project after flirting with several other comic adaptations. As recently as February, he was attached to direct the feature adaptation of The Flash, but has since dropped out. He was also tenuously attached to helm the DC comic flick Super Max, set to revolve around the Green Arrow.

The Longest Yard's Sheldon Turner will write the Magneto screenplay.

While Wolverine has yet to land a director, the first spinoff to the billion-dollar X-Men franchise is tentatively set for a 2008 release.


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