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While Famke Janssen wound up playing a fairly significant role in James Mangold's The Wolverine, coming back as Logan's love Jean Grey, apparently she almost wasn't the only character from the original X-Men trilogy in the movie other than the titular character. In an interview with CreativeScreenwriting (via Superhero Hype), screenwriter Mark Bomback revealed that there was an early version of the film that featured the return of Anna Paquin's Rogue.
"I love Rogue and I just think that there’s something about this idea that Rogue is tremendously empathetic but incapable of safe human contact," Bomback told the site when asked about other mutants that were considered for the sequel. "I was trying to do something with Rogue in the script. I even had a set of ideas that the old man possessed a version of Rogue’s power and that was going to be indicated by a white stripe in his hair." So what happened to the idea?
"Eventually it became very goofy, and I threw it out because I started realizing throughout the script that it became more problematic than cool. It’s no accident to me that in the first X-Men film the first two mutants that you really see who have a connection are Wolverine and Rogue. There’s something special between them, so I was trying to bring Rogue into it, but it just didn’t get there. I regretted there wasn’t a way to figure it out, but when I look at the film now, it would have stuck out if we tried to shoehorn her in there just because it was another character from the universe."
While The Wolverine did certainly have its fair share of problems, its small number of mutant characters certainly wasn't one of them - in fact, it made the film better. Unlike previous subpar efforts in the franchise like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the film didn't overload audiences with mutants that had cool powers but nothing to add to the plot. It helped the story be more contained and small, allowing the audience to actually focus on the characters that matter.
And for you Rogue fans who are upset that she wasn't in The Wolverine, there's good news: Paquin is set to reprise the role in Bryan Singer's upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. While it hasn't been officially confirmed, rumors have suggested that the character will play a significant part in the sequel, which will tie the timelines of the X-Men trilogy and X-Men: First Class together. She will be joined by trilogy co-stars Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore, Ellen Page, and Daniel Cudmore; First Class actors James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult and Lucas Till, and series newcomers Adam Canto, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Booboo Stewart, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, and Fan Bing Bing