Patrick Stewart Hints At X-Men Return With Ian McKellen

Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) in X2: X-Men United
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The X-Men film franchise that existed for two decades came to an end in 2020 with the release of Josh Boone's The New Mutants, but just because that continuity is no longer expanding doesn't mean that everything about it has been abandoned. Sir Patrick Stewart recently reprised the role of Professor X for a surprise cameo in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, and fans will soon see the return of Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool and Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in Deadpool 3. What else the future might hold is presently unclear... but we now have high hopes of not only getting more of Charles Xavier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also more of Sir Ian McKellen's Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto.

The reason we are now more optimistic than ever for this is because of quotes directly from Patrick Stewart. Entertainment Tonight recently caught up with the beloved actor, who is currently promoting the third and final season of the Paramount+ series Picard, and the outlet asked him about Ian McKellen's reaction to his most recent turn as Professor X. It turns out that McKellen was very positive about it, and Stewart explained that neither of them is "done" with their respective X-Men roles:

Actually, it went very well. He did say something like ['Hey, I would've done this!'], yes that's true. But we're not done, Sir Ian and myself. We're... we got plans.

Professor X and Magneto have been recast before in live-action – with James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender playing younger versions of the hero and villain in X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix – but love for the Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen iterations has never dissipated. For many, they are the true big screen versions of the characters, and it very much seems now like fans have been given permission to be excited about seeing them returning to their respective roles. 

But when could it happen? Obviously that's a big question, and we currently have no idea what the answer is. If we're talking sooner rather than later, Deadpool 3 very much seems like a logical opportunity for Marvel, given its already established links to the X-Men canon, but we also can't discount the possibility that the specialness of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen coming back together will be saved for one of Marvel's major upcoming event movies – specifically Avengers: Secret Wars

Needless to say, Marvel fans will be waiting with baited breath for this tease to become a reality. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for the latest updates on this front, and check out our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV features to learn about everything that is on the way from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And if you're feeling impatient/nostalgic, you can always revisit Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen's past performances as Professor X and Magneto. The original X-Men blockbuster from 2000 is available to watch on Starz (opens in new tab), and X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Logan are all available to stream with a Disney+ subscription.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.