In the 16-year history of the X-Men movie franchise, Hugh Jackman has appeared in every one of the movies, even though some roles, like his cameo in 2011's X-Men: First Class, were quite brief. Last weekend, 20th Century Fox debuted their new spinoff Deadpool, which, despite numerous references to Hugh Jackman himself and his Wolverine character, was the first X-Men movie that didn't feature this iconic character in the flesh. There had been rumors for quite some time that Hugh Jackman may come aboard for a cameo, but, although that never happened, Ryan Reynolds revealed in a new interview with Empire, that the original script had actually called for a Wolverine appearance, along with another Marvel character, Taskmaster.
"Taskmaster was in the script originally. Too expensive. We had versions where Hugh Jackman was in there, but it just becomes a big mess for the studio - schedules, money, everything. We went through such hell developing the script, and developing which X-Men we could keep, and which we couldn't. It turned into such a nightmare. The studio would just say: 'too expensive, too expensive' to everybody."
If Taskmaster would have made it in the movie, it would have marked the character's big screen debut, although he has been seen on the Marvel animated TV show Ultimate Spider-Man, voiced by Clancy Brown. In the comics, Taskmaster was both an ally and enemy of Deadpool, who was often portrayed as an anti-hero. Taskmaster injected himself with the adrenal steroid cortisol, designed to unlock the mind's procedural memory potential. This gave him the ability to absorb knowledge instantaneously, which linked to his muscle memory, allowing the Taskmaster to instantly replicate the physical movement of peak-level humans.
While Taskmaster is never mentioned by name in Deadpool, the movie even poked fun at the lack of X-Men mutants, with only two surfacing in the movie, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand). It's also worth noting that, during Deadpool's lengthy development process, Taskmaster's rights actually reverted back to Marvel Studios, making it impossible for this character to be part of the movie, and the impending sequel Deadpool 2.
As for Wolverine, Hugh Jackman has confirmed several times that the upcoming Wolverine 3, which starts shooting later this year, will be his final turn as the beloved mutant. It's possible that he may turn up in X-Men: Apocalypse, arriving in theaters this May, but since Wolverine 3 will most certainly start shooting before Deadpool 2, fans who want to see the Merc and Logan mix it up will not get to see that happen, barring a change of heart from Hugh Jackman. Would you have liked to see Wolverine or Taskmaster in Deadpool? Chime in with your thoughts below, and stay tuned for more on the upcoming sequel.