Hugh Jackman has been rumored to have a part — albeit probably small — in X-Men: Apocalypse for some time. Although the upcoming sequel to The Wolverine will be the actor’s final outing as the iconic X-Men character, there’s still a chance he could appear in Apocalypse, which closes out Bryan Singer’s current trilogy. In addition to maybe-sorta-kinda confirming Jackman’s part in Apocalypse, Singer talks the future of the franchise and his continued involvement in it.

X-Men: Apocalypse is featured on the cover of this month’s issue of Empire, which offers a slew of new photos and lots of new details on the upcoming sequel. And though much of this is not officially online as of yet, CBM got their hands on a copy of the issue, which includes some interesting quotes from Singer. First up is the subject of Wolverine, last seen in the company of Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, who was disguised as William Stryker.

It’s unclear if Wolverine still ends up getting those Adamantium claws after all that messing around with the timeline, but apparently a few of the X-Men will encounter Stryker and his Weapon X program, as detailed in this description of a scene from Apocalypse:

The quartet have been kidnapped by army twonk William Stryker following a cataclysmic event at the X-Mansion, and wake up in a holding cell. On a balcony above them, Stryker taunts his prisoners, demanding to know the whereabouts of Magneto.

But does that mean we’ll get another Wolverine appearance? In a response that seems quite cleverly worded, Singer says, “As a central character, he didn’t fit into this particular story.” The director’s choice of the phrase “central character” feels like an indirect admission that Wolverine may very well appear in the film — if so, it’s likely that Jackman merely has a cameo.

Apocalypse will serve as a conclusion of sorts for the current run of the franchise, and while Singer’s next project is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for Fox, the director says he’s not ready to leave the X-Men franchise just yet:

Abandoning the franchise is not something I think about. But I could not roll into another X-Men movie tomorrow. And I hope not to. I hope to take a break.

That’s probably for the best, as the X-Men universe expands with a Deadpool sequel and New Mutants. There’s also Channing Tatum’s Gambit movie, which was recently removed from Fox’s calendar, its future increasingly uncertain.

As to what we might expect if and when Singer returns to X-Men, the director already has another major villain in mind for a potential sequel: Proteus, aka Kevin MacTaggert, the son of Rose Byrne’s Moira. Singer says, “There’s a lot visually you could do with a character like that.” Sure, but let’s get through this current sequel first.

X-Men: Apocalypse hits theaters on May 27.

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