Giancarlo Esposito Is Still Down To Play Professor X In The MCU, But Now It Comes With A Big Condition

Giancarlo Esposito in The Gentlemen
(Image credit: Netflix)

Having already left his mark on the Star Wars universe by playing Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian, Giancarlo Esposito is looking to get in on another Disney-owned franchise. Back in August 2022, the Better Call Saul alum shared that he’d talked with Marvel Studios about potentially joining the franchise, and he specifically shared his interest in playing Professor X. Nearly two full years later, Esposito is still down to play the leader of X-Men, but now he has a big condition set in place for the role.

While chatting with Empire’s Amon Warmann about his role as Stanley Johnston in the TV show The Gentlemen, which Netflix subscribers can stream now, Esposito addressed the fan interest in him bringing Professor X in an upcoming Marvel movie, and had this to say when asked if he’d given any thought to how he’d play the role:

You know, I've given it a cursory glance in my brain, and immediately I go, 'Hmm, it'd be great to play Professor X in some other incarnation than just the wheelchair.' Right? Because the physical idea of being in a wheelchair every single day does not appeal to me. I just don't feel that old and I don’t like to sit that much. But certainly we could figure something out, maybe. Professor X wasn’t always in the wheelchair, but that is part of his character development. So I think about it a little bit, but I don’t give it all of my thought because it would have to come to me.

A walking Professor X would be a radical departure from how the character is traditionally presented. While Charles Xavier was able to walk in his younger years, in the comics, he lost the use of his legs when an alien named Lucifer dropped an enormous stone block on them. In the X-Men movies universe, James McAvoy’s Charles was crippled towards the end of X-Men: First Class when Magneto accidentally deflected a bullet at his close friend that Moira MacTaggert had fired at him. 

On the other hand, the X-Men comics from recent years have shown Professor X walking again thanks to his mind being downloaded into a clone body created by the advanced technology on the living island of Krakoa. That’s not to say he won’t be put into a wheelchair again at some point, but at least there would be precedence for Giancarlo Esposito playing a Professor X who can talk around. Still, that’d be a pretty big ask on the actor’s part, and I have to imagine there’s a strong chance that even if Esposito’s Professor X does start out walking in the MCU, he wouldn’t stay that way for long.

For now though, it remains to be seen when the MCU’s main version of Professor X will be introduced, let alone if Giancarlo Esposito will play him. It’s also possible Marvel Studios may court the actor for another big role instead, or maybe he’ll jump over to DC instead. After all, he already has history with that company from voicing Black Spider in Batman: Assault on Arkham and Lex Luthor in Harley Quinn, and since he spoke with James Gunn last year, perhaps something’s already been lined up for him in the DC Universe shared universe.

Whatever happens with Giancarlo Esposito on the upcoming superhero movies front, if anything at all, we’ll let you know about it. Meanwhile, stream nearly all of the MCU’s movies and TV shows with your Disney+ subscription, and keep an eye out for Esposito on the 2024 release schedule in movies like Abigail, MaXXXine, The Electric State and Megalopolis

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.