Because Hugh Jackman leaving the iconic X-Men franchise after a seventeen year run evidently wasn’t bad enough, Sir Patrick Stewart decided to twist the knife in our collective fan heart by announcing that he’s officially retired from the franchise.
We can’t blame either of them: 17 years is an incredible amount of time to dedicate yourself to one franchise. For Jackman, the role is physically taxing, requiring outrageous diets and exercise regimens to get his body in shape for the role. For Stewart, he’s getting up there in years and has enjoyed his run.
Announcing his decision, Stewart said:
“A week ago, Friday night in Berlin, the three of us sat, watching the movie,” said Stewart. “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.’”
Patrick Stewart stepped into the shoes as Professor Charles Xavier in the 2000 film, X-Men. He’s since appeared in 2003’s X-Men 2, 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 2013’s The Wolverine, and 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Unlike Jackman, Stewart’s character has been portrayed by another actor – James McAvoy- since X-Men: Days of Future Past, where it was necessary to cast a younger Professor X for the story. However, the actor has continued appearing in the X-Men franchise, with his now-final appearance being in the recently-released Logan: a bow for both actors.
Still, what a way to go: the film is being raved about by fans and critics alike, with a brilliant storyline, incredible acting (no surprise there), and a fitting end for both characters. Although it has yet to hit theaters (March 3rd), buzz has easily exceeded previous X-Men films.
Been living under a rock and managed to miss the trailer for Logan? Check it out here:
March 3rd will be a bittersweet day for X-Men fans: viewing a raved-about and highly-anticipated film… while knowing we’re saying goodbye to two of the franchise’s tent pole actors.
Farewell, and thanks for the entertainment, Sir Patrick!