While he may not have appeared in as many X-Men movies as Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart’s tenure as Professor X was nonetheless impressive. Like Jackman’s Wolverine, Stewart’s version of Charles Xavier first appeared in 2000’s X-Men and made his final bow in 2017’s Logan. As it turns out though, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently chatted with Stewart about reprising the wheelchair-bound telepath. In Stewart’s words:
I met with Kevin Feige a couple of months ago and we had long, long conversations. And there have been moves and suggestions, which include Charles Xavier.
This is interesting. Outside of J.K. Simmons playing J. Jonah Jameson again in Spider-Man: Far From Home (which, like the other Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movies, was a co-production with Sony), the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t featured any actors playing a Marvel character they’d previously played in non-MCU Marvel movies. So getting Patrick Stewart back as Professor X would be a huge get, especially since Hugh Jackman has declined to ever play Wolverine again.
However, Patrick Stewart is following in Hugh Jackman’s footsteps and decided not to reprise Professor X. Why? Because he already did Logan. As Stewart explained to Digital Spy, if he hadn’t taken part in the third Wolverine movie, then he would have been game for another round as Professor X. But following his emotional moment with Jackman when seeing Logan at the Berlin Film Festival, he decided that this was the perfect time to leave the character behind. As the actor put it:
We were moved by the story. We were moved by one another. We were moved by the movie. But we also both made the decision that we were saying goodbye to our characters as well. In that sense, it was not just the deaths of those two men in the franchise, but it was also goodbye to our part in them as well.
So there you have it. Patrick Stewart was moved by how Logan concluded Professor X’s story, and as such, he opted not to play the character again, even though Kevin Feige had expressed interest in making that happen. It’s probably for the best, though. While it remains to be seen when the MCU will start utilizing X-Men characters, it’s expected that the franchise is taking a ‘start from scratch’ approach with them, and bringing back Patrick Stewart would have just been a reminder of a now-concluded era.
That said, if Patrick Stewart had decided to play Professor X in the MCU, I’m curious if this would have been the same version from the Fox-era or, like what was done with J. Jonah Jameson, this would be a brand-new version who simply looks like the original Professor X. I’m guessing the latter, because even though Avengers: Endgame and the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has propped open the door to explore other timelines and realities, throwing an existing Professor X into the mix with an X-Men reboot might be… too much.
In any case, we can definitely count on the X-Men someday entering the MCU, and it will be interesting to see who succeeds Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy as Professor X. Like the Fantastic Four, the X-Men were brought over to Marvel Studios after Disney purchased 20th Century Fox. While the X-Men will be given a fresh start within the MCU, there are plans in motion for Ryan Reynolds to reprise Wade Wilson for Deadpool 3.
As for Patrick Stewart, if you’re interested in seeing him reprise one of his most beloved roles, check him out in CBS All Access’ Picard, which premieres this Thursday, January 23. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for updates on that show as well as what the next chapter of X-Men cinematic history holds in store.
Don’t forget to also look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what’s coming up in Phases 4 and 5.