Wolverine could have been in Dark Phoenix, but he’s not. That’s probably for the best.
Wolverine’s brief cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse was one of the more eyebrow-raising things about the film, because it opened up the possibility for more elements of the original X-films to begin filtering into the newer, younger generation of stories. When writer-director Simon Kinberg began working on Dark Phoenix, he knew that he could find a way to include Wolverine in the film if he wanted, and that many people might go into theatres expecting to see the classic Scott/Jean/Logan love triangle play out again.
But in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Kinberg pointed out how weird it’d be if Dark Phoenix focused on Wolverine, who we all still read as being a grown-arse man in these movies, pining for Jean, who while technically an adult now, was a child when we and Wolverine first met her. As a character, she hasn’t had the chance to mature:
“If you know the Dark Phoenix story, you’d want to really service the love story between Logan and Jean. 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!
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-favourite character in these movies. I wanted this to be a very different experience of seeing an X-Men movie.”
It’s safe to say that after Game of Thrones, we’ve all grown rather weary watching Sophie Turner play opposite men twice her age in stories where their characters can’t control themselves at the sight of her. It’s played out, and there are more interesting things about characters like Jean’s. But what remains to be seen is which elements of Jean and the Phoenix’s story Kinberg decided to highlight instead of the classic Wolverine dynamic when Dark Phoenix hits theatres on June 7.