The first team-based X-Men film in five years debuts next summer in X-Men: First Class. Directed by Matthew Vaughn and produced by franchise-starter Bryan Singer, First Class takes us to the 1960s where Professor X and Magneto meet, become friends and begin their journey down separate interconnected paths.

While all four X-Men movies to date have starred Hugh Jackman as the fierce but lovable Wolverine, First Class marks the first installment without the Aussie actor. Or does it?

X-Men: First Class has been shooting in London for sometime but production is set to move to Jekyll Island, Georgia soon where it shoot for the rest of the year. Conveniently enough, Comic Book Movie found a Facebook posting where someone claimed over the weekend to have driven Hugh Jackman from the set on Jekyll Island to the airport.

Knowing that Fox – and other studios with comic book franchises – like to use cameos and guest appearances to generate hype and tie films together, it was only a matter of time before Wolverine rumors started popping up, regardless of how credible the sources are.

Our friend David Bentley of The Geek Files however, reports that Bryan Singer has shot down the rumor already. At a recent screening, Singer talked about X-Men: First Class and made clear that Wolverine won’t be in it.

“He’s not in the movie, he’s in the Wolverine movies.”

Fox’s response to an inquiry on the matter points out that this may not even be possible if they haven’t begun shooting there.

“X-Men hasn’t started shooting in Georgia yet and if Hugh was in Georgia, it wasn’t for this movie.”

From a story perspective, it makes little to no sense to have Wolverine included in First Class but it’s certainly plausible for a very brief cameo appearance to help market the film and Wolverine 2 which enters into production early next year.

With an entirely new cast and direction for the franchise, I’d rather Singer and Vaughn distance themselves from the franchise as it stands since moviegoers have been handed two weak films in a row ever since Singer dropped out of X-Men: The Last Stand. Let each creative team have their own chance at a fresh take with First Class, Wolverine 2 and Deadpool.

Share your thoughts in the comments and with us on Twitter @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

X-Men: First Class opens in theaters June 3, 2011.

Source: The Geek Files