Mónica Marie Zorrilla

Mónica covers the shows and movies that geeks love at Inverse— 28-hours-a-week, every week.

May 5, 2022
Published on: Inverse
1 min read
X-Men (2000) introduced Marvel characters to the big screen that are rumored to reappear in the MCU.

There are countless leaks and rumors suggesting that Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier might appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

True or not, it’s a great time to catch up with the character by giving 2000’s X-Men a watch. Starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Halle Berry as Storm, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, and Sir Ian McKellen as Professor X’s formidable friend and foe Magneto, the movie was the first attempt at getting the superhero squad into theaters.

Over two decades have passed since its debut, and it still holds up as both a fun watch and a solid introduction to some of Marvel’s best characters, some of whom may get revived in the MCU sooner than expected.

X-Men and the dawn of superhero flicks

The importance of X-Men for the modern superhero genre cannot be overstated. Although there had been several comic book adaptations from Marvel and DC prior to it, X-Men marked a momentous return for superheroes after the heyday of Superman and Batman. Its box office success as what was then the sixth biggest opening ever showed proof of an appetite for superhero blockbusters, leading to X-Men sequels, prequels, reboots, and spin-offs. X-Men’s popularity also gave Sony and Disney the confidence to adapt Marvel properties, and we all know what came of that.

The 2000 film introduces viewers both familiar and unfamiliar to the X-Men and an Earth where humans and mutants share an uneasy existence. The story does an excellent job at tethering the fantastical to reality by grounding X-Men in a plot that involves the U.S. government and its treatment of a marginalized community, focusing on the universal themes of civil rights and equality that permeate the comics.

Given the distinctive voice of Sir Patrick Stewart in the Doctor Strange 2 trailers, the most important X-Man to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with before Multiverse of Madness is Charles Xavier.

Meet Charles Xavier

Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, is one of the most adored Marvel characters. Played by Patrick Stewart in the first X-Men trilogy, Xavier is an unflinching pacifist who dreams of mutants living harmoniously alongside humans without the need for violence.

A civil rights advocate who relentlessly promotes education and tolerance at both the Xavier Institute for “gifted youngsters” and among mutants who find themselves hiding alone amid humans, Professor X has always had a measured demeanor as a leader. Ever since his youth he’s had faith that both humans and mutants alike are capable of good and will do the right thing when presented the opportunity, even if they’ve yet to prove themselves.

So, while Professor X is only rumored to be making a significant cameo in Doctor Strange 2, getting to know his ideology, as well as the immensity of his powers that include telekinesis, telepathy, extrasensory perception, and a genius intellect, may be important before watching Multiverse of Madness.

Even if Professor X isn’t the first X-Man introduced into the MCU, the outcome of Multiverse of Madness could set-up the reemergence of the beloved Marvel mutants in future projects. So why not watch the movie that started it all 22 years ago?

X-Men is streaming on Disney+.