Ever since making his comic book debut in the very first issue of X-Men, Magneto has always been regarded one of the most powerful, feared, legendary and iconic villains in the medium’s history. The Master of Magnetism has been a friend and foe to both the mutant and human races over the last half a century, as well as becoming an integral part of Fox’s big screen franchise.
Real life BFF’s Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were perfectly cast as Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr respectively, bringing a real sense of weight and gravitas to their roles as former friends turned adversaries who hold diametrically opposed viewpoints on how mutants should be treated, even though there’s always an underlying sense of mutual respect and admiration between the two.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender also did a solid job with the younger versions of the characters, and Magneto almost got his own solo movie a decade ago before the disappointing reception to Wolverine’s first spinoff saw the X-Men Origins experiment abandoned entirely. Recently, though, McKellen took to social media and mused that we might have been pronouncing the supervillain’s name wrong this whole time, as you can see below.
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) October 15, 2020
Overlooking the fact that it’s taken the 81 year-old over two decades and five big screen appearances since his debut in Bryan Singer’s X-Men to raise the point, the simple answer would probably be that the established pronunciation rolls of the tongue a lot easier and sounds much better. If everyone had been saying Magneto wrong since 1963, surely someone would have pointed it out by now given the sheer volume of different iterations we’ve seen across the comic books, animation and live-action movies.