Hugh Jackman debuted as Wolverine in 2000's X-Men, instantly catapulting him into the Hollywood spotlight and paving the way for him to become one of the biggest stars of his generation. The actor reprised the role in eight subsequent films, which includes sequels and spinoffs, with Logan serving as not only his character's sendoff within the franchise but also Jackman's official retirement from the role. In the last X-Men film, X-Men: Apocalypse, the actor merely had a brief cameo, with the character being completely absent from the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix. In addition to the performer publicly having retired the character, Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg claimed the character was absent due to the age difference between Jackman and Jean Grey actress Sophie Turner.
“If you know the Dark Phoenix story, you’d want to really service the love story between Logan and Jean,” Kinberg shared with Rolling Stone. “And I think the notion of Hugh Jackman, as great as he looks for his age, and Sophie Turner — it didn’t sit well with me. Or anyone else!”
Fans first saw the romantic tension between Wolverine and Jean Grey in the original X-Men trilogy, with Jackman flirting with Famke Janssen's version of Jean Grey, who is actually four years older than Jackman. Turner, on the other hand, is less than half Jackman's age at 23, so it's easy to see why it was easier to omit that facet of the story than try to compensate for the age discrepancy.
Additionally, Kinberg wanted Jean Grey to be the focus of the movie instead of splitting the audience's attention across even more major characters.
“There was an element of this being Jean’s story,” Kinberg noted. “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.”
Despite the omission of this element of the iconic story, Turner herself promises that the new film does the storyline justice.
Fans can check out X-Men: Dark Phoenix when it lands in theaters June 7th.
Are you disappointed that Wolverine won't be in the film? Let us know in the comments below!