James McAvoy is set to hit our screens later this month in new psychological horror/thriller Split. The Scottish actor stars as a killer with multiple personalities, some of which have kidnapped three girls. It's a complex and frightening concept, and is a big change for the actor who is probably best known for his role as Charles Xavier in Fox's X-Men franchise. McAvoy has appeared as the character in three films so far (X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse), and although he has not yet been announced for any titled future projects, his return has been teased for the upcoming New Mutants.
On the press tour for Split, McAvoy has also been speaking about his role in the superhero franchise, including his thoughts on Logan - the final Wolverine film, and one where Professor X will be reprised by Sir Patrick Stewart.
In a tweet posted by Erik Davis, managing director of Fandango, McAvoy appears in a video talking about his possible future appearances in the X-Men franchise, and his thoughts on the upcoming Wolverine outing. He said:
If they offer me a really good part, I'm in! If it's not a really good part... I'll think about it. [laughs] But I love playing Charles, and I've always had pretty interesting things to do as Charles. So, if that continues, then, yeah of course I'd love to take part.
[When asked about the released Logan footage] It's brilliant, I'm jealous that I'm not old enough to play Charles like that yet! But what a great idea, what a brilliant idea.
It's no surprise that McAvoy is enthusiastic about continuing to play Charles Xavier, although it is interesting to hear (even jokingly) that he may turn down future involvement if it's not a "really good part". This would suggest that McAvoy's contract situation with the studio is either extremely flexible, or that he is not currently contracted to take part in any future X-Men films, which would make sense considering his initial contract only stipulated three films. With Logan being set so far in the future, it's only logical that Stewart would be returning as his, much older, version of the character, and it will be interesting to see how this future Professor X may impact McAvoy's take on the character in later films.
It's fantastic to see McAvoy's enthusiasm for both the character and the franchise - he is clearly excited to continue appearing in Fox's cinematic universe, and we would love to see him return. Now that the X-Men series that began with First Class has reached a point where the classic team are on-screen, it feels like this new version of the X-Men are just about to really take off. The huge success of Deadpool and the buzz around Logan also suggest that Fox is finding its feet in the new era of superhero blockbusters. We would hate to see an actor as passionate and talented as McAvoy leave the franchise at this exciting point, so we're thrilled to hear that he is on board to return (and loving the direction that this latest film is taking).
While his comments are definitely positive, they don't actually give us any new information about where or when McAvoy could be returning as Professor Xavier, as the actor remains intentionally vague. He doesn't even confirm that he will definitely re-appear. Right now, fans are waiting to find out if he will appear in the upcoming New Mutants title, and it seems as though we are going to have to wait just a little longer to find that out.
Source: Erik Davis
- Logan (2017) release date: Mar 03, 2017
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018