When you think of the X-Men franchise, your mind instantly flashes to Wolverine’s bursting biceps and Mystique’s toned tummy. A young Professor Charles Xavier rarely flashes into your consciousness as an object of your fancy!

Maybe it’s because you respect him too much, or maybe it’s because he has never ripped his own shirt by simply flexing his torso. He is the brains, not the brawn, and, as a result, he lacks that sex appeal that his bulkier comrades boast.

It’s not that 38-year-old James McAvoy, who plays the telepathic mutant, isn’t attractive either.

In fact, there has been huge support for the Scottish actor to be the next James Bond after it was announced that Daniel Craig would not be reprising the role after the release of Spectre (although Craig is now apparently back on board for one final movie).

Despite being tall, dark and handsome, many questioned McAvoy’s credibility as Bond based upon his relatively small frame.

Would he be able to fill the beefy tuxedo vacated by Craig? People were skeptical. But there was no need to question McAvoy’s potential – something which the actor recently proved when he was spotted showcasing his superior physique.

The father-of-one has not been shy and almost agreed with his critics. “I’m five foot seven, and I’ve got pasty white skin,” he once said. “I don’t think I’m ugly, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not your classic lead man, Brad Pitt guy.”

However, that could be all about to change now that he is sporting a much fuller figure in preparation for the Split sequel!

Playing Professor X may have made McAvoy a household name across the globe, but before then he was making a name for himself in movies such as Atonement, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and the animated Gnomeo and Juliet. 

However, it was his portrayal of a man with 23 different personalities in the 2016 film Split, which really demanded him to bulk up his body.

As you can tell from these recent photographs, the actor is almost unrecognizable as he prepares for the Split sequel, Glass, which is due to be released in 2019.

“I’m pretty healthy. I’m in fairly good shape most of the time,” the Golden Globe-nominated actor previously explained of his physique. However, “good shape” wasn’t good enough when he landed the lead role in Split.

“I Googled, ‘Good way to put on muscle quick’,” the Glasgow-born actor told The Daily Record.

“Then I went to a gym and did it myself. It was a power-lifting routine called 5×5. You do five different exercises four or five times a week – huge, big exercises. It’s super-simple but works every muscle.”

“I also ate between 5000 and 6000 calories a day. Instead of eating two eggs in the morning, I’d eat eight,” McAvoy said. “Then a snack of chicken breast. Then two chicken breasts for lunch and a steak for another snack. Then two salmon steaks for dinner.”

“In a relatively short space of time, I got bigger. I wasn’t huge, but I was quite chuffed with myself,” McAvoy continued.

The Scottish actor is pictured below in a scene from Split. Before taking on the role, however, McAvoy had been vocal about his distaste for exercise, but it’s clear that he was willing to put his acting career first and hit the gym.

“I like playing sport, and I like doing physical stuff,” he said. “I like hiking and I like climbing and I like playing sport. I do a lot.”

“But I don’t like the term ‘exercising.’ I feel like with sport, you’re playing games. But with exercise, you’re literally just trying to stop yourself from dying too young. It’s weird.”

Perhaps it was McAvoy’s Atomic Blonde co-star, Charlize Theron, who helped inspired him to change his opinion about exercise to the point where he could bulk up even more. Check out this video below where he can’t stop gushing about the 42-year-old!

Well, I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for Glass to be released!