Ian McKellen On ‘X-Men’ Sequel: Actor Thinks Michael Fassbender Is ‘First Class’

Ian McKellen had nothing but positive things to say about the other guy who plays Magneto in the X-Men franchise.

According to Access Hollywood, the acclaimed actor recently discussed his role in the upcoming sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since the film is centered around time travel, there’s a possibility the core characters may encounter older versions of themselves.

McKellen says he intends to give X-Men: First Class star Michael Fassbender a “run for his money” when and if the two appear on-screen together.

“First class I would say. I thought he was terrific,” McKellen said of Fassbender during a press junket for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

As for the older actors squaring off against their younger counterparts, the acclaimed actor said the newbies will have their work cut out for them.

“We’ll give him a run for his money when we get there,” McKellen joked.

According to The Star-Ledger, Ian McKellen didn’t stick to discussing the ins and outs of the X-Men universe. Since he was there to promote The Hobbit, the actor discussed what it was like to return to the world of Middle Earth after so many years.

McKellen had this to say about the character:

“Gandalf came back very easily. But then I haven’t forgotten him over the years. So many people want to say hello and talk about him, he’s never far from me. You do worry a bit – Andy Serkis said he was afraid at first his Gollum sounded like someone imitating him doing Gollum. But for me, once I get the makeup on again, and there he is staring back from the mirror, it’s not difficult to return to him.”

X-Men: Days of Future Past starring Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence opens on July 18, 2014. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey treks into theaters on December 14.