X-Men: Days of Future Past managed to give longtime fans everything they could have asked for – a glimpse into the future, a story that played with real historical events featuring the returning X-Men: First Class characters, and a tease of a happy ending for the series’ original mutant heroes thanks to a retcon of the two worst X-movies. Everyone had a part to play.
In the followup X-Men: Apocalypse, currently shooting in Montreal for release next summer, the old stars aren’t coming back. Well, Ian McKellan might but we don’t know for certain. Instead, it’s about a new start and the “true birth of the X-Men” according to director Bryan Singer. And it will connect to the untitled Wolverine 3 which will most certainly bring back at least two original stars, including Patrick Stewart.
In an interview back in February, Stewart let slip that his time as the X-Men founder and leader Professor Charles Xavier wasn’t quite over and that although he wouldn’t appear in X-Men: Apocalypse, he would re-team with Hugh Jackman a year following in the third Wolverine solo movie. That’s the same interview where he said McKellan would be in Apocalypse.
Skip forward to today with Stewart promoting his new Starz TV series Blunt Talk which premieres this Saturday, August 22 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, and he confirmed with Collider that he is indeed going to be in the next Wolverine and that his role isn’t just a cameo.
“I think what you say is true. There is a project in development. I understand that Professor Xavier will be making more than an appearance, however, and that intrigues me.”
The story of Wolverine 3 remains a mystery, but at San Diego Comic-Con this summer and to me personally three years ago on the set of The Wolverine, Hugh Jackman teased that it may draw inspiration from the “Old Man Logan” miniseries in Marvel Comics. At best, it could only loosely follow such a story since many of the characters in that story are owned by Marvel Studios. But the idea of an old Wolverine on his last journey fits the theme. Jackman has already made it official that Wolverine 3 will be the last time he sports the claws.
My last time putting on the claws. What do you want to see happen? 50 words or less. I'll read as many as I can. pic.twitter.com/ksA1Gii5tf— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) July 27, 2015
On that note, Stewart also enthusiastically joked about the idea of Hugh Jackman finally getting old because he looks so good for his age, seemingly teasing that Old Man Logan may indeed be the story. Given that Professor X is in it though would indicate it cannot be set too far into the future past where we saw them in the future portions of X-Men: Days of Future Past anyway. Unless of course, time-travel is still a plot device in play, which would explain a few things:
- How X-Men: Apocalypse and Wolverine 3 are connected as Hugh Jackman suggested previously.
- How Ian McKellan can be in X-Men: Apocalypse.
- How the X-Men films reconcile the time period differences between the ’80s set X-Men: Apocalypse and the modern-set Deadpool and Gambit and modern/future-set Wolverine 3.
Wolverine 3 begins shooting early next year with James Mangold (The Wolverine) returning to direct off of a story by Mangold and a screenplay by Michael Green (Blade Runner 2, Prometheus 2). With Stewart involved, we’re curious how this film could end an era of X-Men as we know it and/or help set the stage for a new one. Any chance Hugh Jackman becomes Cable? (more on that here and here…)
Deadpool opens in theaters February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.