In a recent interview with UPROXX, Ian McKellen absolutely slammed two huge franchises and the characters that helm them. The characters he spat lyrical flames at happened to be Superman and James Bond. The acclaimed actor had no fear in taking on these two iconic characters when he was talking about why he decided to take the role of Magneto in the X-Men Series.
He had this to say about his decision to take the role: "Well, [director Bryan Singer] persuaded me. X-Men was about something. Superman isn't really about anything. It's a joke. The nerd changes his underpants and becomes a Superman. That's James Bond: "Shaken, not stirred," silly, stupid, British twit... and then, Action Man! But X-Men is about the problems of being a mutant. And we've all felt we're mutants on occasion. So, that was the hook for me. And don't forget, I didn't have to sign to do any more than one; I'm just doing a movie."
Boom! Although I agree that the X-Men movies are superior to what DC has offered in the way of Superman movies so far, I think it is unfair to reduce the character to just a nerd who changes his underpants and becomes a superhuman. There are a lot of elements to the character, not all of them are overtly present in Man Of Steel, that is true. However, I get the feeling that he isn't just talking about the movies, it seems like he is trying to talk about the character generally. If so, he's wrong. Superman is actually often about a lot of very true concepts it just depends on who takes on the character. One of the central problems for the character is that he feels out of place, a fish out of water. He is an alien sent to Earth after all. Is this feeling of being an outsider not exactly what he said was so good about X-Men?
Again with Bond, it depends who writes for the character. 007 is essentially a blank slate for a different writer to tell a new story with each time. Some of the more recent Bond films starring Daniel Craig have actually been excellent. Granted, Quantum Of Solace was rubbish but Casino Royale and Skyfall were fantastic. I hesitate to go against McKellen too much as I am a huge fan of his, he played Gandalf in Lord Of The Rings, a film series that I would say is the reason I am writing this now. I wouldn't have been so into movies were it not for Peter Jackson and the cast of those movies.