Patrick Stewart says he expects his next appearance as X-Men's Professor X to be his last

Stewart reprises his long-running role in next year's currently untitled 'Wolverine' sequel

Patrick Stewart has said he expects his next appearance as Professor X to be his last.

The veteran actor returns as Charles Xavier/Professor X in the new Wolverine movie due in March 2017. It will mark his seventh appearance as the iconic X-Men character.

"I would imagine this is probably the end of this franchise for me. But the thing about science fiction and fantasy is that you can never, ever say it's the end, it's over," Stewart explained in a new interview with ITV.

He also teased that the new and currently untitled Wolverine movie will feature "a very different Charles Xavier" who is "nothing like the Charles Xavier you've seen in the past".

The new Wolverine movie, conceived as a sequel to 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine and 2013's The Wolverine, will also feature Hugh Jackman's farewell appearance as the title character. Stephen Merchant, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal and Richard E. Grant also co-star in the sequel, which is being directed by The Wolverine's James Mangold.

20th Century Fox has set a release date of March 3, 2017 and Mangold is shooting with an estimated production budget of $127 million (£97 million).

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