Strange Days

'Doctor Strange 2' leak could be bad news for X-Men fans

“I have seen Xavier in Doctor Strange 2.”

Despite countless leaks, rumors, and the sound of decorated English actor Sir Patrick Stewart’s distinct voice in the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Professor Charles Xavier is still not confirmed for a role in the upcoming Marvel movie. And yet, it seems the reviews are already in — sort of.

Twitter supes scooper and NFT shiller @MyTimeToShineH recently claimed to have seen Professor X in Doctor Strange 2. Putting it bluntly, the leaker tweeted, “He looks dumb.”

This is about as thin and flimsy as leaks come, and yet we can’t help but wonder what it might mean. It takes a lot to make an actor like Stewart come across as foolish on-screen, so let’s say the subjective critique of the film is true: what does this mean for fans of the X-Men, hoping for a standout formal introduction of mutants to the MCU?

Professor X’s golden hoverchair

Listen, the golden hoverchair is clunky and silly, but in the ‘90s X-Men cartoon— one of Marvel’s longest-running animated series — Charles Xavier opts for a futuristic levitating ride rather than the sleek wheelchair we see Stewart badassing around in throughout the Fox films.

It’s no floating Tesla, but in the cartoon, the hoverchair, which debuted in a 1991 X-Men comic just a year before the animated series arrived on television, offers plenty of special features Patrick Stewart could never dream of. The hoverchair was directly integrated with Cerebro (Xavier’s telepathy-enhancing headgear), has a secret compartment containing a laser blaster, and even had a built-in communication device — you know, in case Professor X’s telepathy failed him.

@MyTimeToShineH’s “leak” was quickly inundated by comments, speculating that the golden hoverchair may be what looks dumb. The bad news is that, yeah, by definition: hover chairs are a little too over-the-top and Jetsons-y to be taken seriously, especially in live-action. (Look no further than Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. for evidence.)

Fans bummed about the prospect of a hovering, rather than rolling, Professor X do have to keep in mind though that this affirmation is a stretch at best. This is the furthest thing from confirmation, and besides, the special effects for a movie like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are often in development until days before release.

Professor X vs Scarlet Witch

Wanda Maximoff appears to be a key villain in Doctor Strange 2.Marvel

Just as commenters theorized that the golden hoverchair is what makes Professor X supposedly “look dumb” in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, commenters also guessed that maybe the reason why the extraordinary mutant leader isn’t portrayed favorably is that he’s effortlessly offed by Wanda Maximoff.

There are a couple of reasons why Professor X, who in the comics and in the Fox movies goes up against some of the toughest X-Men and villains around (both with his brains and his psychokinetic brawns), might be getting “offed” by Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange 2.

The first is that, well, Stewart is 81. Perhaps the MCU is making room for a new cohort of X-Men actors that can play characters for the next decade or two of content phases. We may see Charles Xavier again in future projects tied to the multiverse, but it may be someone else donning that famous bald cap. (This may also be a bad sign for X-Men fans who wanted more Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, or Jennifer Lawrence in the MCU.)

The second reason might be that Doctor Strange 2 is setting up a major letdown only to (surprise!) clear it up later. In the House of M comics, Professor X is only temporarily disappeared in the eight-issue arc to make way for the rise of Magneto with Scarlet Witch by his side. His return may be Stewart’s final blaze of glory as the iconic professor, and we’d like to believe it’ll no doubt be one for the books.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hovers into theaters on May 6.