Charles Xavier, also known by the moniker Professor X, has become one of the most iconic roles played by Sir Patrick Stewart. However, Stewart had no clue who the X-Men were before signing on.
Sir Patrick Stewart first signed onto the role of Professor X in the X-Men films all the way back in 1997, practically pulling Charles Xavier out of the comics and onto the big screen with his performance. Yet for as well as he nailed the role, it allegedly didn’t make sense to him when he was first pitched the idea, stating he didn’t have a “bloody clue” what it all meant:
“This conversation made about as much sense to me as the one I’d had with Steve Dontanville all those years ago in which he asked me why Gene Roddenberry wanted to meet me,” Stewart explained in his recent autobiography Making It So: A Memoir. “Charles Xavier? The X-Men? I hadn’t a bloody clue what was going on.”
“Lauren patiently explained that ‘X-Men’ was to be a big-budget film based on a Marvel Comics superhero team. Charles Xavier was the creation of comic book legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby,” Stewart continued. “He is a telepath and paraplegic who exists in a world where mutants represent the next phase in human evolution, but face discrimination and bigotry because of their superhuman powers…He is the guy who puts the X in X-Men.”
Given Sir Patrick Stewart signed on to play Professor X before the modern age of superhero content, it’s no shock he didn’t know who the X-Men were. Luckily for fans, Stewart did give the role a chance, leading to one of the most iconic performances of all time as Charles Xavier.
What can fans expect from Professor X’s return in X-Men ’97?
The final episode of the original series saw the X-Men saying goodbye to Charles Xavier as he left with Lilandra to visit the Shi’Ar homeworld. X-Men ’97 will pick up where the original series left off and promises to feature some of the most iconic villains from the X-Men universe, including Mister Sinister, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Callisto and Valerie Cooper.
Fans can look forward to the return of some of their favorite voice actors from the original series, including Cal Dodd, Lenore Zann, George Buza, Adrian Hough, Christopher Britton, Catherine Disher, Chris Potter, Alison Sealy-Smith, and Alyson Court. In addition, X-Men ’97 will include the voice talents of Jennifer Hale, Anniwaa Buachie, Ray Chase, Matthew Waterson, JP Karliak, Holly Chou, Jeff Bennett and AJ LoCascio.
X-Men ’97 was originally slated to premiere in the fall of 2022, but has been pushed back with no official release date. With Marvel reducing its Disney Plus output, X-Men ’97 is now expected to debut sometime in 2024.
Stay tuned for the latest updates surrounding the X-Men animated series revival and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!