Patrick Stewart is not playing *that* Professor X in Doctor Strange 2

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness featured some huge cameos after teasing the introduction of the Illuminati in its trailers. These featured some speculated stars – as well as a few big surprises. However, one of these cameos may not have been what you thought.

Before we dive into this, we need to issue a big spoiler warning! We’re going to be getting into detail about the Doctor Strange 2 cameos, so if you haven’t seen the film yet we don’t want to spoil them for you. You have been warned.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cameo spoilers ahead

Still here? Then you know that Doctor Strange 2 features an appearance from none other than Patrick Stewart’s Professor X (though the surprise was somewhat ruined by the trailer featuring the character). The actor memorably played the role in Fox’s X-Men movies, and last appeared in Logan – which Stewart said would be his last appearance in the role. In fact, Professor X died in the film.

“If we had not made Logan, then yes, I would probably be ready to get into that wheelchair one more time and be Charles Xavier. But, Logan changed all that,” Stewart told Digital Spy (opens in new tab) in 2020 of a return as the character.

However, technically Stewart hasn’t returned to the role… the version of Charles Xavier seen in Doctor Strange 2 is actually completely different to the one seen in the live-action films. But how can that be? 

What version of Professor X is in Doctor Strange 2?

Patrick Stewart as Professor X in Doctor Strange 2

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

In the film, Professor X is from the ’90s animated X-Men series. He has the same yellow chair, and the show’s theme song can be heard as Charles, a member of the Illuminati, appears on the screen. Essentially, the version of Professor X that you have seen on screen in the X-Men movies is completely different to this one. That’s the multiverse for you. 

We should note, though, that Prof X does tell Doctor Strange: “Just because someone stumbles and loses their way doesn’t mean they are lost forever.” That’s a line directly from the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past, which just confuses the whole thing. Still, we can be assured – considering the wheelchair, theme song, and Stewart’s own desire to not play the same version of the character he played before – that this Professor X variant is more animated series than movie Professor X.

The distinction doesn’t exactly seem that important in the movie itself – Professor X has the psychic powers we’re used to, and no reference is made to the fact that he should recognize Scarlet Witch from the animated series. In fact, there are no nods to anything else X-Men-related, either the movies or shows. 

Whether we’ll see Stewart again in the role remains to be seen. Considering how Wanda Maximoff’s rampage through the Illuminati headquarters ended with every single member (bar Mordo) dead, it seems unlikely.

The X-Men are coming to the MCU eventually, though, so Stewart could pop up again – though, considering his previous comments, it seems a long shot. But the animated series is getting a Disney Plus (opens in new tab) revival, so we’ll be seeing this version of the character again, at least. 

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