'Wolverine 3' Might Feature Patrick Stewart's Final Performance As Charles Xavier

We haven't seen much from Hugh Jackman's final performance as Wolverine, but we're not that far off from the film's release date. In seven months, we'll see what kind of goodbye director James Mangold and Jackman have in store for the character. Jackman may not be the only one departing from the X-Men universe, as Sir Patrick Stewart says Wolverine 3 is possibly his last time playing Charlies Xavier.

Below, learn more about the potential final Patrick Stewart X-Men performance.

Stewart has a significant part to play in the R-rated superhero western. The sequel is inspired by Mark Millar's "Old Man Logan" — a story that, for a variety of reasons, could never be adapted completely faithfully — but Xavier isn't present in that storyline. Jackman, however, wanted to explore the "signs of that quasi-father/son sort of relationship that has not been seen before, and sides of particularly Professor X that have not been seen before."

Although Stewart doesn't completely rule out playing Charles Xavier again, in an interview with ITV, the actor says his time as the character is likely almost over:

I can't say because I don't know, but I would imagine this is probably the end of this franchise for me. But the thing about science fiction and fantasy is that you can never, ever say it's the end, it's over.

If X-Men: The Last Stand proved anything, it's that sometimes even death isn't enough to kill off franchise stars. When Xavier's demise at the hands of Jean Grey was mentioned to Stewart, he responded with a smile:

Yes, I have, I have [died in the series]. Jean Grey vaporized me, from which you would think there would be no return. But watch out! In March, I'm going to be back on the screen again. A very different Charles Xavier, that's all I'm allowed to say. Nothing like the Charles Xavier you've seen in the past.

If you've seen any of the set photos from the upcoming Wolverine film, then you've seen a Charles Xavier that appears as emotionally and physically drained as the aging, grey-haired Wolverine. Perhaps in the finished film, Professor X isn't as banged up as he was in some of those set pics, but tired, aging heroes is a part of the Old Man Logan storyline. That comic revealed new, more vulnerable sides of famous Marvel/X-Men characters, and hopefully Mangold will do the same for Logan and Professor X. Jackman and Stewart have shared some fine scenes in the X-Men franchise, so if both of them are leaving this comic book universe, almost 20 years after it started, at least they're leaving it together.

Wolverine 3 opens in theaters March 3rd, 2017.