We’ve known for a while that Logan would be Hugh Jackman’s last outing in the X-Men franchise as Wolverine. Now it’s been confirmed another major actor is done: Patrick Stewart, who has played Professor X since the first film 17 years ago.
The actor made the announcement today during a SiriusXM Town Hall event alongside Jackman and Logan director James Mangold, according to Entertainment Weekly. During the event, Stewart talked about how the three had watched the film together last week in Berlin, and were moved to tears.
The movie ended… and we were going to be taken up on stage, but not until the credits were over. So, we had some time to sit there and, as I sat there I realized there will never be a better, a more perfect, a more sensitive, emotional, and beautiful way of saying au revoir to Charles Xavier than this movie. So, I told [Hugh] that same evening, ‘I’m done too. It’s all over.'”
Like Jackman, Stewart has been a constant fixture in the franchise since 2000’s X-Men, as well as X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Unlike Jackman’s Wolverine, the character was recast for 2011’s period piece X-Men First Class and X-Men: Apocalypse, in which James McAvoy played the part.
While X-Men: Days of Future Past provided a convenient reset of the story with new characters, X-Men: Apocalypse didn’t quite deliver, and now the loss of two of the franchise’s most recognizable stars leaves the long-term future of Fox’s X-Men in question. It appears that Fox is turning to Ryan Reynolds and the Deadpool franchise to take control instead. The sequel to the surprise 2016 smash hit is scheduled to be released next year, and the spinoff X-Force series is reportedly in the works with the help of writer-director Joe Carnahan. It’s not the thought-out, coherent strategy that a studio like Marvel has pursued, but it does show that the studio is dedicated to working within this world to provide the most cohesive universe it can.
Logan will hit theaters on March 3rd.