Sir Patrick Stewart Retires from the X-Men Franchise

The new superhero movie Logan has been getting a lot of attention, mostly because A) it’s genuinely, unusually great, and B) it’s supposedly Hugh Jackman’s last performance as Wolverine, a character who shot the actor to immediate superstardom and became a lynchpin in 20th Century Fox’s lucrative franchise.

But fans of the X-Men movies learned this weekend that Logan wasn’t just Hugh Jackman’s final appearance in the series. James Mangold’s brutal western take on the X-Men universe is also Sir Patrick Stewart’s swan song as Professor X, a character he’s been playing since Bryan Singer’s original X-Men movie in 2000.

Also: ‘Logan’ Review | Lone Wolv and Cub: Claws of Vengeance

Sir Patrick Stewart made the announcement at a SiriusXM Town Hall (via EW):

“A week ago, Friday night in Berlin, the three of us sat, watching the movie, Sir Patrick Stewart said. “And I was so moved by it, much more moved than I had been the first time of seeing it. Maybe it was the company of these two guys, but the movie ended and — this is an admission — but at one point [Hugh] reached out, and he took my hand in those last few minutes, and I saw him go [mimes wiping a tear from his eye] like this, and then I realized I had just done the same thing. Then, the movie ended… and we were going to be taken up on stage, but not until the credits were over. So, we had some time to sit there and, as I sat there I realized there will never be a better, a more perfect, a more sensitive, emotional, and beautiful way of saying au revoir to Charles Xavier than this movie. So, I told [Hugh] that same evening, ‘I’m done too. It’s all over.’”

The X-Men movies have been expanding in new directions lately. The main X-Men movies still take place in the past, with the next movie rumored to take place in the 1990s, and spin-offs like Deadpool and the television series Legion operating in corners of the X-Men universe that don’t seem to interact much with characters like the older version of Professor Charles Xavier.

The 76-year-old Sir Patrick Stewart doesn’t seem to be retiring from acting anytime soon: he’s scheduled to star in the comedy Wilde Wedding and the animated family movie Emojis later this year. The X-Men and Star Trek star also recently gave one of his most menacing performances ever in Green Room, as a white supremacist who targets a punk band for termination after they witness a murder.

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Top Photo: 20th Century Fox

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.