Marvel Studios appears to have plans to bring Patrick Stewart back into the MCU for a return as Charles Xavier/Professor X.
Warning - this article contains spoilers for the mid-credits scene from The Marvels.
Marvel Studios' most recent theatrical release, The Marvels, brought the X-Men back into the spotlight while Monica Rambeau found herself in another universe alongside her mother, Maria Rambeau, who had become the superhero Binary.
The third player in that scene turned out to be Kelsey Grammer's Dr. Hank McCoy, better known to X-Men fans as Beast, as the blue-skinned mutant made his MCU debut while also teasing the existence of others just like him.
The Marvels Post-Credits Scene Teases Patrick Stewart Return
During The Marvels' mid-credit scene, Monica Rambeau wakes up in a hospital bed next to Lashana Lynch's Maria Rambeau, although Maria doesn't know who Monica is even though they're mother and daughter in Earth-616.
This leads to Kelsey Grammer's Beast making his MCU debut as he explains to Monica that she's "now in a reality parallel to [her] own" after fixing the massive rift in spacetime.
As he makes his exit, he quickly notes that "Charles asked for an update" on Monica's condition, not so subtly indicating that Charles Xavier is an important player for the X-Men in this new reality.
Patrick Stewart made his debut in an MCU movie in 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, although he was killed off in Wanda Maximoff's Dreamwalking rampage that left the entire Earth-838 Illuminati dead.
It seems clear that The Marvels' mid-credits scene takes place in another universe outside of Earth-838, over which the Illuminati resided in Doctor Strange 2, teasing Patrick Stewart's eventual return to the role of Charles Xavier.
Where Could Patrick Stewart Return in the MCU?
With the X-Men undoubtedly on their way to a bigger presence in the MCU before the mutants are recast for their Earth-616 counterparts, it's almost a certainty that Patrick Stewart will be back in the universe before too long.
The 23-year Marvel veteran already teased that he could be in line to play Professor X again at the world premiere event for Doctor Strange 2, noting specifically that there "might be an opportunity in which he comes back:"
"Charles Xavier? Yeah. There may be. You know, the whole X-Men comic series is so huge, so vast, there might be an opportunity in which he comes back. We’ll see."
Even before that in February 2023, he revealed that he'd already "been told to standby" for any news on more Marvel appearances, further indicating that Marvel Studios is far from done with his legacy hero.
Right now, the most likely place for a Professor X return would be 2024's Deadpool 3, which is already starring Hugh Jackman's Wolverine with a chance that plenty of other legacy Marvel actors could join that adventure as well.
Later on, Marvel is reportedly looking to create the biggest crossover event in cinematic history with 2027's Avengers: Secret Wars, which should include more than a few fan-favorite mutants from the Fox universe's catalog.
No matter when more news comes out on Stewart's potential return, The Marvels set the stage for even more expansion into the X-Men's long-awaited exodus into the Marvel Studios saga.