X-Plainin' to Do

'WandaVision' Professor X cameo theory: What it means for the MCU

"I'm looking for hope."

"Is the future truly set?" This philosophical musing isn't from WandaVision, though it certainly relates — because right now, on the eve of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first Disney+ series finale, we're all wondering if the inevitably grim ending is inevitable after all.

That quote does come from another Marvel movie, though not one from the MCU. It's from X-Men: Days of Future Past, spoken by the wisest mutant of them all: Professor Charles Xavier. Sir Patrick Stewart's iconic superhero was seemingly retired after Logan, to put it lightly. But with the future of the X-Men franchise uncertain thanks to Disney's ownership of Fox, is it wrong to hope for the actor's eventual return as Professor X?

And let's take it a step further: is it wrong to hope Professor X will show up before WandaVision ends?

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For context, the Professor X in WandaVision theories have been floating around for a while, with some thinking this is Paul Bettany's much-hyped cameo, and others speculating Xavier will be in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as part of the Illuminati. (For reference, this is a group of the sharpest minds in the Marvel Universe, including as-yet-unseen in the MCU characters like Namor the Submariner, Mister Fantastic, and — you guessed it — Professor X.)

The evidence is thin, unless you want to say the naming of the "Hex" was designed to get a bunch of people screaming "PROFESSOR HEX!" on Twitter, just as Agatha's "Fietro" nickname was surely conceived. But this isn't about cork-boarding clues leading to Xavier's arrival. This is about hoping it happens — both for the MCU's sake and for Wanda's sake.

On that first point, X-Men fans are eager to see mutant-kind in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are a lot of theories as to how the WandaVision finale might get us there. If this series ends up being the launch point for MCU mutants, how do we go there without at least a subtle nod to Professor X, if not an outright appearance?

What's more, Charles Xavier showing up in WandaVision as a friend to Wanda in her time of greatest grief and need … well, that's about as signature a Xavier move as it gets. This is straight out of the playbook for how mutants wind up at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Due to his telepathic abilities, Charles is deeply connected to so many in the world around him, ready to appear when there is someone in need of his unique skillset. Wanda absolutely fits the bill, the closest Jean Grey analog the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently possesses. Indeed, Wanda is quite possibly our very first mutant, depending on how this finale shakes out. If it breaks that way, Xavier would be the exact right person to show up and guide her through the next steps.

But ... there is another.

"I will bring you hope, old friend."Marvel

For those hitching their wagons to a mutant-focused reveal, there's some debate as to who would be the more appropriate arrival: Charles Xavier, or Magneto. Certainly, Magneto has an edge, as he's Wanda's father in the comics, depending on the era you're reading. It might make more sense for Magneto to show up while Wanda's in search of family ... but it would be a dark ending, considering Magneto's traditional role in things. Wanda is already in the throes of trauma. Magneto's crusade against humanity hardly seems like the cure. Professor X's companionship, on the other hand, might be exactly what Wanda needs as she endeavors to rehabilitate her life after losing "everything."

So, back to the original question. Is it wrong to hope Professor X will show up before WandaVision ends? No, it's not.

Is it wrong to expect? That's a different question.

The collective WandaVision finale cameo dreams are as sky-high as they can get, even as cast and crew are doing their part to lower expectations. (Appearing on Good Morning America, Bettany revealed he will have scenes opposite himself, confirming that he was his own hotly-awaited scene partner. Ha, ha, ha. Great joke, Paul.) And it's wise to keep those expectations in check, lest we set ourselves up for disappointment.

No amount of cool cameos will offset a thematically hollow landing. WandaVision is about grief, how we learn to live through loss, how we trust ourselves to love again, how we define the boundaries between self-defense and open-hearted vulnerability. Guided by powerhouse performances from Elizabeth Olsen and her fellow cast members, if WandaVision sticks the landing on what it's set up emotionally… that's all that matters, really.

So it's not so much that the theorizing matters, as much as they are … well, fun! There are mere hours left before the finale arrives. This is the final foray into the speculative WandaVision theory trenches. Why not aim for the sky one last time, far beyond the reaches of Wanda's Hex? Why not hope for "Professor Hex" to show up? As someone else once said: "What is theorizing about WandaVision, if not hope for a Patrick Stewart cameo persevering?"

Alright, so maybe that's not an exact quote … but it's the one I'll be chanting all day as I while away the hours before the finale's arrival, and the inevitable emotional gut-punches that come with it.

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