sorry, giant floating heads, but you're out

Now that they’ve finished undoing all the damage caused by X-Men: The Last Stand, magical best friends Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen will be sitting out the next X-Men movie. Variety reports that Stewart has confirmed both actors will likely not be appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse. The British thespian and reigning champion of the Internet first broke the news during a yet-to-be-aired interview with Larry King:

“I was learning quite a lot more about it last night, and it is going to be looking very much at the earlier lives of all our characters. And so I don’t think we’ll be making an appearance. “

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Given that the upcoming film is set in the ’80s and features the X-Men: First Class cast, this news is not exactly shocking. As previously reported, Apocalypse will already be recasting several of the mutants from the first trilogy of films—except for Wolverine, because Hugh Jackman’s soul is now kept in a small wooden box under 20th Century Fox’s bed.

This doesn’t rule out future appearances by either actor, however. McKellen or Stewart (or both) could pop up in Channing Tatum’s Gambit movie, Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool film, the one about BeneDoctor CumberStrange, or possibly a future X-Men installment. Failing that, there’s still room on the release schedule for the lighthearted musical comedy we wrote about Professor Xavier and Magneto. That movie’s highlight, a duet called “Stop Reading My Mind, You Already Read My Heart,” is a real show-stopper.