We've known for a while that Wolverine 3 will be the last time we'll see Hugh Jackman as the clawed mutant, but it looks like there's a chance it will mark Sir Patrick Stewart's last appearance in the franchise too. The actor has played the role of Professor Charles Xavier across six films, but he told ITN that it's likely his time with the character will come to a close next year:
"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".
Stewart was perfectly cast as Professor X back in 2000 and he's proven to be arguably the most consistent performer in the 16 year old franchise, so it'd be a shame if Wolverine 3 is indeed his swansong. As the actor alludes to though, death is not always the end in sci-fi and fantasy - Xavier actually 'died' in X-Men: The Last Stand before being brought back to life in the movie's post-credits scene - so there's perhaps a small chance we'll see Stewart back in the wheelchair in future.
In any case, Stewart is looking forward to introducing audiences to a much different Professor X in 2017: "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".
Directed by James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, and Elizabeth Rodriguez, Wolverine 3 will be released in cinemas on March 3, 2017.
Images: 20th Century Fox