While the X-Men are a diverse team of fascinating individuals who bear powers that make them even more unique, their on-screen representation has struggled to capture the accuracy of what makes this merry band of mutants so wonderful. 21st Century Fox attempted to build and curate a growing X-Men Universe cinematically, though only a few of their movies in the 2010s came close to possessing a close understanding of who the X-Men were. The movies primarily starred James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier.
James McAvoy’s interpretation of Professor X kept in stride with Sir Patrick Stewart’s previous work as the character and concluded his run as the telepath in X-Men: Dark Pheonix. Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, accumulating the rights to the X-Men, and announced that there would be an upcoming project revolving around the mutants. It hasn’t been disclosed which characters will be reimagined, especially so close to the finalization of 21st Century Fox’s saga. Rumors have unearthed obscure theories around Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which guarantee that a multiverse will become more prominent within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wild speculations have been afloat, though the X-Men star shuts down any ideas about a return to Marvel.
In an interview with Screen Rant, James McAvoy debunked the chatter around his almost-too-soon reprise as Professor X. “Got nothing to say on that. [Press continually asking about Marvel rumors are] just doing it because the actor has to say no, and we’re used to the actor saying no, and then they do show up. But I’m saying no and I mean it,” the actor confirmed with a seemingly definitive answer.
A similar interview with ComicBook.com pressed on the same topic of James McAvoy and his intentions to make his Marvel comeback. “I’m all about doing good stuff, and when I got asked to play Charles the first time, it was good stuff, it was good writing, and I was excited. If people offer me good writing, I’m always going to be excited, but I do feel like I’ve had a good ending with Charles and I got to explore some really good stuff,” McAvoy said to the publication, “Particularly in the first two movies that I did for him as a character. So if my time is done, I’m happy with the time that I spent and the time that I was given and if good writing comes in and people want to do stuff with me, I’ll always be open to that, but it’s got to be good.”
Though there’s the openness to taking on the role again, James McAvoy declined to detail whether he’ll consider a role in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While the actor praises the work of Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team, his comments are worded safely enough to the point where they can’t be dissected further. The Doctor Strange sequel has every intention to be, well, as strange as it can be. Events that will directly contribute to the long-awaited follow-up to the original have been formulated through WandaVision and are expected to be further elaborated on through Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff and her brother Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff are known mutants in the comics, though the separation of the two through barriers between franchises and incongruent storylines eliminates any cohesive overlap between the two. Evan Peters’ time as Peter Maximoff on WandaVision could have been that key jumping-off point from the 21st Century Fox X-Men Universe, though his alternative persona of Quicksilver was diminished into a crass throw-away punchline. While James McAvoy could mend the lack of X-Men interacting directly with either character, the chances of Professor X serving as that integral cross-over character may not be as likely moving forward.
James McAvoy’s carefully chosen statements around his time as Professor X and further debunking of his casting in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness make it appear as though he’ll most likely hold off on his sudden reprise. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t more room for more X-Men within the MCU. The Marvels director Nia DaCosta pitched an X-Men movie of her own that would pit Storm and Cyclops against Galactus, a concept that would be fresh to the cinematic series.
Based on the foreseeable future of the MCU, the X-Men are still a ways off from another reincarnation that would weave them into the existing, rapidly growing world that Marvel Studios has created, even if James McAvoy declines to reestablish himself as Professor X. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness pursues chaos in theaters on March 25, 2022.