When 'X-Men' hit in 2000, mutton-chopped Wolverine strolled into the the moviegoing public consciousness, and by 2003, his adamantium claws ripped through any remaining genre barriers, freeing him to rise to the top tiers of mainstream superheroes. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine was the bee's knees cat's pajamas ... he was James Dean meets Sean Connery -- troubled, yet charismatically unstoppable.

By becoming such an important figure in the first trio of films -- so much that he launched the first X-Men solo film with X-Men Origins: Wolverine back in 2009 -- Wolverine became a distinct part of the public X-Men consciousness. Removing his snickety snitch from the proceedings seems unfathomable, but that's precisely what's happening with 'X-Men: First Class.' Sticking to the roots of the story (those pre-Logan years), 20th Century Fox is daring a reboot without even a cameo from its most popular member.

We already know that he's not one of the main cast members since Professor X, Magneto, Emma Frost and the like are inhabiting this flick. But now producer Bryan Singer (who helmed the first two installments of the original trilogy) says that there won't even be a cameo -- this despite earlier rumors this week that Jackman was seen visiting the 'X-Men: First Class' set.

The Geek Files relayed a Q&A Singer participated in at a film screening, and when asked if Wolverine would make an appearance, he said: "He's not in the movie, he's in the Wolverine movies." As anyone familiar with the comics knows, this isn't a big surprise. The team was hitting comic shelves for twelve years before Logan's claws entered the picture in 1975. (After getting his start facing The Incredible Hulk, that is.) 'X-Men: First Class" is showing how Xavier and Magneto met, and ultimately split apart, forming rival groups of mutants.

But regardless of established history, there's no doubt that Wolverine is an established character in the X-Men movie world. What does it mean for the franchise to not have its most popular member included in an X-Men film, especially since he's appeared in every installment to date? It seems like a risky, and altogether surprising decision for an industry that is ridiculously obsessed with established familiarity, desperate to tap into fandom more than to create a notable cinematic offering. It helps that the main characters aren't completely the same bunch -- it won't be Jean Grey, Cyclops, Storm and the like fighting without their man of adamantium. This incarnation is boasting characters like Emma Frost, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, Beast, Havoc and Darwin.

But what say you? Is an all-out lack of Wolverine a smart move? The lack of Jean and Wolverine already inspired one of our readers to wish for the death of Singer. Will this turn the masses off, or is it about time they dove into the mutant world beyond Wolverine?
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical