Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen won't return for X-Men: Apocalypse

Despite the cast of last year's X-Men: Days Of Future Past powering that film toward a mammoth box office haul of $748m (making it the eighth highest-grossing movie of 2014), it looks like sequel X-Men: Apocalypse is going to feature something of a shake-up.

While chatting with Larry King (in an interview that will air this Wednesday), Patrick Stewart confirmed that he and Ian McKellen won't be returning as Professor X and Magneto for the sixth X-Men movie.

“I was learning quite a lot more about it last night,” Stewart said of the movie, “and it is going to be looking very much at the earlier lives of all our characters. And so I don’t think we’ll be making an appearance.”

Which is a shame, considering it had already been seven years since we last saw Stewart and McKellen playing those roles (in X-Men: The Last Stand) when they pitched up in X-Men: DOFP.

With X-Men: Apocalypse set to close out the trilogy of prequel films that started with X-Men: First Class, though, could it be that 20th Century Fox have other plans for the 'older' incarnations of its comic-book heroes?

Here's hoping we get to see them dealing with the fall-out of X-Men: DOFP's time re-flow at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.