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On Super Bowl Sunday, fans usually expect an onslaught of major trailers for upcoming blockbusters, but even with those expectations, there are always a few surprises. One of the biggest during this year's big game turned out to be a voice in the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that sounded suspiciously like Sir Patrick Stewart, who famously spent more than a decade playing Charles Xavier in the X-Men films. But is that Stewart's voice, and what did he think of the sudden onslaught of reactions from fans?
In an interview with Jake's Takes to promote the upcoming season of Star Trek: Picard, Stewart steered clear of any character details regarding the film, but he did confirm that it's his voice (and his shoulder) in the trailer, while describing what happened when he picked up his phone on Monday morning to look at his notifications.
"I had my phone turned off as it happened and so I didn't hear anything," Stewart said. "It wasn't until the next morning when I woke up and looked at my phone and found that I had been bombarded with responses, and that my PR people had sent me reactions that they had detailed and passed on to me. I actually didn't recognize my own voice. It sounded different. Whether I had a cold or something at the time, I don't know. But, I was astonished. And all they saw was the back of my shoulder, and I think my earlobe, nothing else. That there would have been so many connections made, it pleased me."
Stewart had previously played a little more coy about his possible role in the film, throwing out the possibility that perhaps a clever impersonator had been drafted for the Doctor Strange sequel. That said, while he was willing to talk about his shoulder and his earlobe this time, he did not confirm any other details about the film, including who he might be playing. In a previous interview with ComicBook, Stewart suggested that his return as Charles Xavier was very unlikely even considering the multiverse nature of the MCU right now, because he'd retired the character alongside Hugh Jackman in Logan years earlier.
"Here's the problem... If we had not made Logan, then yes, I would probably be ready to get into that wheelchair one more time and be Charles Xavier," Stewart said. "But Logan changed all that."
Of course, for many fans, the introduction of Charles Xavier into the MCU is too big an opportunity to pass up, particularly after the cameo-laden triumph of Spider-Man: No Way Home, because it could lead into the introduction of the Illuminati, a team of the greatest minds in Marvel Comics. Stewart's mum on that as well, but he did at least offer host Jake Hamilton an answer to what Xavier might think of a hypothetical meeting with Stephen Strange.
"Professor X would be extraordinarily cautious and watchful, and perhaps feel a little insecure because there is something that is potentially dangerous about this man, and I think that would put Professor Xavier on guard," he said.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives, with Patrick Stewart in some capacity, on May 6.