Sir Ian McKellen to depart ‘X-Men’?

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Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will not appear in the next X-Men film.

The pair – who have appeared as Magneto and Professor X since the original X-Men film in 2000 – will not appear in X-Men: Apocalypse, according to Patrick Stewart.

Younger versions of the characters, played by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, were first introduced in 2011’s X-Men: First Class, but last year’s film Days of Future Past featured both incarnations of the characters.

Patrick Stewart said during an interview with Larry King that he expects the upcoming film to focus on the “earlier lives” of the characters once again.

He said: “I was learning quite a lot more about it last night, and it is going to be looking very much at the earlier lives of all our characters. And so I don’t think we’ll be making an appearance.”

When asked directly if he would be in the film, Stewart replied: “No. Nor Sir Ian McKellen, either.”

However, due to the fantasy nature of the series, it is possible that the actors may eventually make a return.

Sir Ian McKellen’s role in the X-Men films was arguably the gay actor’s most famous appearance – aside from playing Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings universe.

The actor and gay rights campaigner was awarded the honour of Freedom of the City of London last year.

In addition to regular school visits with Stonewall to combat homophobia, Sir Ian – who was knighted in 1991 – also works on LGBT homelessness with the Albert Kennedy Trust.

X-Men: Apocalypse – directed by Bryan Singer – is set for release in 2016.