Rogue Nearly Made the Cut for James Mangold’s The Wolverine
Of all the faults, follies and all around flubs of Fox’s X-Men film franchise has got to be the manner in which Rogue has been handled. I know that there are different iterations of the character in the comics, but one thing is for sure, Rogue is a character that is tough. Under all that emotion and mystery, she is a powerful character and we have yet to see that character show up. Not only that, but I can’t be the only person who feels that she was severely miscast with Anna Paquin, right? Anyway, we know that from the very beginning of this franchise, Rogue and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine have had a certain bond; a connection of sorts that has followed them throughout the series and that friendship was nearly carried over in to this years so-so hit The Wolverine.
In an interview with CreativeScreenwriting, The Wolverine screenwriter Mark Bomback revealed that in an early draft of the script, Rogue played a part in the story. It sounds as though they tried a few different ways to include the character, from full on inclusion to a nod to her famed white streak in her hair.
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. That always moved me and I thought that’s what really got to the heart of what makes the X-Men franchise so unique. So 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 why didn’t she make the cut? It came down to the fact that it ended up coming across as goofy and ill-fitting. One of the things that actually worked for The Wolverine is the fact that it wasn’t overloaded with mutants, which was one of the things that brought X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine to a low. There was simply too many characters that were included for the sake of showing off the character. Here’s what Bomback had to say about why they ended up moving away from 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.
There are some fans and critics who balked at the inclusion of Famke Janssen returning in a surprisingly large role as Jean Grey, but it proved to be an integral part in Logan’s turning a new leaf and letting go of the past. Had Rogue been included, I think it would have fallen victim to the dreaded curse of the previously mentioned X-Men films.
Anna Paquin will be reprising her role as Rogue in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, where she is rumored to play a big part in combining the two story lines from the original films and Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 hit X-Men: First Class. She will be joined by Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Daniel Cudmore, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, BooBoo Stewart, Omar Sy, Peter Dinklage and Fan BingBing.