However! Since X3 probably can't have happened anymore (Professor X is seen walking and still pals with Magneto during a Phoenix-establishing flashback set in the late-70s/early-80s) the field is wide-open for future X-directors to at least do a better job with the franchises best-remembered event than previously. And heck, maybe all the "space stuff" oughtn't be as verboten as it once was. After all, audiences seem to be largely receptive to Tony Stark sharing acquaintances with the Viking God of Thunder; so is "Wolverine in Space" really that far off anymore?
And speaking of which...
X-Men Origins: Wolverine was so universally-hated that, despite its tidy box office, everyone from the studio down to the tertiary cast was running to the press to declare their intents to pretend it never happened in any future installments of the franchise within months of its release. And while the most famous X-Man doesn't play a key role in First Class a perfectly-timed cameo establishes that he's very much kicking around. Sharp-eared fans will also note that the least sympathetic of FC's military brass characters is established as the father of Col. William Stryker, the mutant-hating baddie who plays a key role in X2's explanation of Wolverine's backstory.
Here's the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: Having a "repaired" version of you-know-who's origin folded-in as part of another X-Men prequel could undo the unwanted-scion of Origins and provide yet another crowd-pleasing cameo - how much fun would it be for the super-secret "boss fight" to be Weapon X? "Huh, this guy doesn't look so tough!" "snikt!" "Oh."
Making this all much easier, of course, is that Wolverine's handy immortality means you don't need to worry about recasting Hugh Jackman, who quite frankly needs this franchise even more than it needs him.
As mentioned above, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was being written out of existence long before it's goofy upright-walking Professor X cameo made it part of First Class' continuity sandblasting. But there's no such thing as scrubbing too hard, especially when it means giving filmmakers a do-over on Deadpool.
I imagine that many (most?) reading this are more aware of Deadpool as a breakout-star character from the newest Marvel vs. Capcom, but he's been a cult-fave in comics for years. Originally created by the infamous Rob Liefeld as little more than a "Dark Age" knockoff of DC's Deathstroke The Terminator ("Slade" to you fans of the Teen Titans cartoon); Deadpool's distinguishing characteristic is that he's one of a surprisingly small number of comic book characters who is aware that he inhabits a fictional ink-and-paint universe - hence (at least to some degree) his just-in-it-for-laffs nihilism. To my mind, this is exactly what the increasingly overcrowded superhero movie genre needs at this moment: A character who can simultaneously inhabit a big costumed adventure actioner ... while also taking the piss out of it.
The Wolverine movie had Ryan Reynolds (great casting!) as the pre-Deadpool Wade Wilson, and served as a parallel origin for Deadpool-proper - but the final product left a lot to be desired. It's as good a reason as any to take another shot at it - plus, after Green Lantern Reynolds is probably going to need something else on his "I-can-carry-a-movie" resume...
Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.