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Why Charles Xavier's 'Logan' send-off gave Patrick Stewart pause for 'Multiverse of Madness'
Stewart's scenes only took a day-and-a-half to shoot.
When Marvel Studios came knocking on Patrick Stewart's door with an offer for him to reprise the role of Professor Charles Xavier in the new Doctor Strange movie, the longtime X-Men vet didn't say yes right away. Discussing his Multiverse of Madness cameo with Variety, the actor admitted that the character's heart-wrenching death in 2017's Logan felt pretty final and thus, gave him pause on joining the MCU.
"Just like Star Trek: Picard, I was a little unsure at first if it was a wise thing to do," he explained. "Given that Logan had been such a powerful movie and we watched him die in Hugh Jackman’s arms. So having seen [Doctor Strange 2] on Monday night, I’m very happy and very proud that I’ve been part of that."
***WARNING! The following contains major spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness!***
Professor X shows up in the film as a member of the Illuminati on Earth-838, whose members also include: Sorcerer Supreme Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Maria Rambeau's Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), and, most surprising of all, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four (John Krasinski). All of them end up horrifically slaughtered at the hands of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
"It was a day-and-a-half’s work," Stewart revealed. "I was in a very different environment from the one that I had ever been in, in any of the X-Men movies. And just like Picard, I was grateful for it, because I could think refreshingly about who he was and how he related to others."
The MCU's multiversal iteration of the wise mutant sits in the big, yellow wheelchair made famous by X-Men: The Animated Series, which ran from 1992 to 1997 (Danny Elfman's Multiverse of Madness score pays homage to that show's iconic theme song when Charles first appears onscreen).
"It was very unlike the Porsche that I was driving in the films," Stewart joked of the yellow monstrosity used on the set of Doctor Strange. "That was a very fast, very manipulative wheelchair. And when I first saw the monster that I was going to be driving in this one, I was dismayed. But it was fine. It worked very well. I had to bring it to a stop before a flight of stairs. That was my only concern, was that I would somehow get out of control and go all the way down the stairs in this thing! But it was a very, very different world from the X-Men movies, with references here and there, of course. But I was very, very happy."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now playing in theaters everywhere.
Other upcoming horror films include Firestarter in theaters and streaming on Peacock on May 13, The Black Phone in theaters on June 24 and Jordan Peele's NOPE in theaters July 22.