If Marvel fans weren’t already excited for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness after Spider-Man: No Way Home, they went absolutely ballistic over the film’s recent trailer, which teased the first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance of Patrick Stewart as X-Men leader Professor Xavier, following his 20-year run as the character in a series of Fox movies.

Stewart is doing a bunch of press for the new season of Star Trek: Picard, and at first when people asked about Doctor Strange he played very coy about his role. In one early interview, he insisted that it was actually an incredible sound alike and not his voice that fans heard in that trailer. You didn’t have to be a mind reader to know that wasn’t true.

In a later interview with Rolling Stone, he seemed to at least offer a clue as to how Professor X may return in Multiverse of Madness. 

“This is a very delicate area,” he told Rolling Stone. “All I can say to you is we'll have to see. But bear in mind that Professor Xavier has already died twice. I think he must have some sort of Superman quality."

Xavier was first killed by Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand from 2006.

He returned in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, after Wolverine’s mission into the past to prevent a dystopian future had the benefit of erasing the events of The Last Stand, and resurrecting characters like Cyclops, Professor X, and Jean, who had all died in the film.

Then Xavier died that second time in Logan, another bleak X-Men film set in a dark future. In other words, changes to the time stream (and, in Marvel’s view, the multiverse) brought Xavier back once already, so why not again? The Xavier in the film could be the one from Fox’s X-Men movies from before the events of Logan, or one from another branch of the multiverse. As long as Stewart is playing the role, it’s cool with us.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled to open exclusively in theaters on May 6, 2022.

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