SALT LAKE CITY — “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” might be wrapping up over 20 years of superhero storytelling, but the mutants are taking a bow without one of their biggest stars — Wolverine.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, writer and director Simon Kinberg said it “didn’t sit well” with him to try and shoehorn Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine into the film, thanks to his traditional romance with Jean Grey, played this time by a much younger Sophie Turner.
“There was an element of this being Jean’s story. And I was committing so fully to it that I didn’t want to run the risk of pulling away from Jean by going to the well of a fan-favorite character in these movies. I wanted this to be a very different experience of seeing an 'X-Men' movie,” Kinberg said.
Jackman first appeared in “X-Men” in 1999 and has appeared in every Fox-produced "X-Men" film — not counting the two "Deadpool" movies — up until “Dark Phoenix.” Gizmodo notes Wolverine did have a brief cameo opposite Turner in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” where he was freed from Weapon X by Jean Grey, Cyclops and Storm.
Jackman ultimately bowed out of the X-Universe in “Logan,” which saw Wolverine sacrificing himself to save the younger generation of mutants in a far-flung future without the X-Men. Following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, the only X-Men character confirmed to be making it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe intact is Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool, according to Digital Spy.
IndieWire also reports that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has said the X-Men won’t figure into the MCU for a while since their current five-year plan doesn’t account for the characters.
“It’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deseret News’ review of “Dark Phoenix” — which hits theaters this Friday — says Kinberg has “produced a good movie that serves as an awkward series finale.”