"Logan" reunites Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier, apparently for the final time, but absent from the trailers -- and, indeed, the film -- is Ian McKellen's Magneto. If you want to know why he's not in the film, don't look to McKellen for answers.
Joining Jackman and Stewart on this week's episode of "The Graham Norton Show," McKellen was asked why he wasn't involved in "Logan."
"I've never heard of it, to tell you the truth," he deadpanned, adding. "You know, I think when you get to my age, you want to leave aside those tired old franchises, move on to something fresh and new."
The response drew raucous laughter from the audience and from Jackman and Stewart. However, McKellen wasn't quite finished. "I sometimes cry myself to sleep," he said. "I simply don't know why I'm not in it, darlings." Looking to Jackman, he asked, "Could you not do another one?" before turning to Stewart to say, "It's time you died."
McKellen suddenly remembered that Professor X was killed in 2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand" -- "I was vaporized by Jean Grey," Stewart offered -- but Jackman quickly dismissed the on-screen death.
"Yeah, but that's nothing," he explained. "It was only at the level of DNA that he was vaporized. But of course they can come back together."
Jackman, who's saying farewell to Wolverine with "Logan," took the opportunity to thank McKellen for being so supportive of him during the filming of 2000's "X-Men." "Don't think I was in love with you," McKellen shot back.
McKellen, 77, debuted as Magneto in "X-Men," and reprised the role in "X2," "X-Men: The Last Stand," "The Wolverine" and "X-Men: Days of Future Past."
Directed by James Mangold, “Logan” is set in the near future, years after the epilogue of 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” In it, a weary Logan, whose healing factor is failing, cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.
Opening March 3, “Logan” stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Dafne Keen and Stephen Merchant.