Anna Paquin's mutant alter-ego Rogue could have made an appearance in The Wolverine, the film's writer has revealed.
Screenwriter Mark Bomback admitted that he decided to abandon the concept because including Rogue in James Mangold's sequel got too "problematic".
He told the Creative Screenwriting website: "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. Eventually it became very goofy, and I threw it out because I started realising throughout the script that it became more problematic than cool."
Anna played Rogue alongside Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in the first three X-Men films, and will reprise the role in Bryan Singer's upcoming X-Men: Days Of Future Past, which has been filming in Canada, and will be released in May 2014.
Mark continued: "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."