One of the most interesting and arguably most underutilized elements of the original X-Men trilogy were its blue mutant characters. From the shapeshifting and eye-catching Mystique to the fan-favorite teleporter Nightcrawler and the lovable and intelligent Beast. Alan Cumming put on a German accent, lots of makeup and hand-drawn tattoos, along with prosthetics (including a tail), to play Kurt Wagner AKA Nightcrawler in X-Men 2 but wasn’t brought back for Brett Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand.

With Singer returning to the director’s chair for X-Men: Days of Future Past and making it a mission to see the return of practically everyone from the X-Men trilogy in addition to the core cast of First Class, moviegoers understandably wish to see Nightcrawler back, and actor James McAvoy gave fans a reason to be hopeful.

In an interview with Heat Radio, McAvoy namedropped many of the actors returning for the next X-Men team-up film, including Alan Cumming, seemingly intentionally:

“It’s huge, the cast is huge. You got me, [Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender,] Nicholas Hoult will be back and he’s just blossoming massively over [in america]. Patrick Stewart, Ian Mckellen, Halle Berry, Alan Cumming, Peter Dinklage I hear mentioned – I don’t know if that’s happening – “Huge” Jackman is coming by. He is huge. He’s massive, 7’5″ and muscle-ly.”

A month ago, Cumming hadn’t heard from Singer or Twentieth Century Fox, but since that time, Halle Berry agreed to return and franchise newcomers Peter Dinklage and Omar Sy were added, so it was very much believable that the son of Azazel – a character from X-Men: First Class we’d like to see back – would at least make an appearance.

Alan Cumming himself however, potentially shattered these hopes last week while guesting on Sirius XM’s Dirty Pop, where he responded to a caller question on Nightcrawler by admitting  that he’s not only scheduled for other work when Days of Future Past begins shooting next month in Montreal, but that he’s yet to have been contacted.

 “No, they haven’t [asked me to return]. Someone asked me that the other day and I said no. I know the one that’s coming up shoots this Spring, but I wouldn’t be available anyway. I don’t think they have. I was gonna meet my manager for dinner later, I was gonna ask him, but no, I’m sure they would’ve told me, had they approached.”

If the character of Azazel, the red teleporting combatant  from X-Men: First Class were returning for Days of Future Past, Singer would be expected to bring back Nightcrawler as well to connect and complete their story arc, but it doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Jason Flemyng told Independent.ie last week that he didn’t think he was returning:

“I don’t think I will be back. Initially I was gutted, but then, I remembered I had to get up at two in the morning, I had to be painted red and be slightly out of focus and posed a lot, and that was sort of it. Now I don’t have to do that.”

Will the demon-looking mutants ever had their story explored on the big screen or is it too late for the Mystique-Azazel relationship and Nightcrawler origin tale? They may very well be the first major letdown when it comes to returning X-Men characters. Should Singer make an effort to bring back these teleporting mutants? What about James Marsden’s Cyclops and Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey?

Bryan Singer will direct X-Men: Days of Future Past with newcomers Peter Dinklage and Omar Sy along with returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry.

The Wolverine releases July 26, 2013, X-Men: Days of Future Past on July 18, 2014 and Fantastic Four on March 6, 2015.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and let me know if you want to see Azazel/Nightcrawler return!

Source: Heat Radio (via XMF), “Dirty Pop” with Lance Bass, Independent.ie