In general, superhero movies are big into cameos and appearances from characters other than the main heroes. It’s not uncommon to see faces from other movies pop in for a quick visit. Last time we saw those fan favorite mutants the X-Men, in X-Men: Days of Future Past, there were multiple generations of Charles Xavier. And while we only expect to see one in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, James McAvoy’s version, the original, Patrick Stewart, recently stopped by the set. This doesn’t mean anything, but it’s still pretty cool.
Director Bryan Singer has been our best source of information from the Toronto set of X-Men: Apocalypse, sharing photos of characters and video of the shoot. He posted this picture on Instagram of himself hanging with Stewart behind the scenes, pretending to studiously examine a shot.
Again, we can’t stress enough that doesn’t mean anything. Singer and Stewart have worked together on a number of movies across the franchise, and while you can read into it if you must, even the message that accompanies the photo says Stewart is just visiting and they’re reminiscing about their earlier movies. But we’ll pay attention to anything Patrick Stewart does.
Though there has been speculation that X-Men: Apocalypse could bring back Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier, as well as Ian McKellen’s Magneto, played in his younger days by Michael Fassbender, the more substantial reports indicate that neither will return. Especially with the timeline being rewritten as it was in Days of Future Past, any return seems increasingly unlikely. However, in Apocalypse we will finally get to see McAvoy’s Professor X completely bald, like the character is in the comics, which will be fun.
This isn’t to say that we absolutely won’t see Patrick Stewart as Professor X ever again. Earlier this year a report made the rounds that indicated he could show up in the Wolverine 3 when that happens. That could work for a couple of reasons. It will be Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the clawed mutant, and perhaps the gravity of that could bring Stewart back into the fold. Also, at San Diego Comic-Con, it was mentioned that the Old Man Logan storyline will figure into that movie, and given that we know how slowly Wolverine ages, an older version of Charles Xavier would make more sense. If he does indeed appear, and if that is actually the story, both big ifs.
Patrick Stewart isn’t the only famous face in this photo. Writer/director Jason Reitman (Juno) is also there, in town for staged his live read of the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski, which happened in Toronto last night. His presence also makes sense because Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Olivia Munn, all cast members on X-Men: Apocalypse, played roles in Reitman’s Lebowski.
With a whole new crew of mutants, all stuck in the 1980s, X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27, 2016.