Jackman has been included in each non-Deadpool entry to the franchise since the original X-Men movie, but said goodbye to the character in James Mangold’s 2017 movie, Logan.
However, fans and Kinberg have noted that Jackman’s character could still have fit into the Dark Phoenix timeline, following on from his small role in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
Kingberg told Rolling Stone that he would have wanted to do proper justice to the love story between Logan and Jean Grey/Phoenix, but was concerned about the age gap between Jackman and Dark Phoenix star Sophie Turner.
“If you know the Dark Phoenix story, you’d want to really service the love story between Logan and Jean,” Kinberg said. “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!”
He added that he also wanted to keep the focus on Turner’s character: “There was an element of this being Jean’s story. 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.”
Dark Phoenix has received mixed to negative reviews from critics so far, with many panning the focus on visual effects as opposed to character development. Praise has been reserved mostly for the performance of James McAvoy as Professor X.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be released on 5 June in the UK and 7 June in the US.
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