Alan Cumming Not Returning For 'X3'

Actor makes surprise announcement via his Web site.

For his latest adventure, blue-skinned superhero Nightcrawler has once again vanished into nothingness — however, this time he won't be reappearing.

Actor Alan Cumming has announced via his Web site that he will not be participating in the third "X-Men" movie, a decision that would seem to signal at least the temporary shelving of arguably the most popular character in 2003's "X2."

Referring to Cumming as an "Ex X Man!!," the stage-trained actor's site says, "Alan will NOT be appearing in 'X3.' Fox has not picked up his option to play Nightcrawler for a second movie."

A publicist for Cumming confirmed the announcement's validity, as well as the news that Cumming will not be traveling to Vancouver, British Columbia, this summer to film "X-Men 3" alongside such returning stars as Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. The posting under the actor's "Up and Cumming" movie page comes as a shock after the star's insistence that he would be in "X3" as recently as February's press tour for "Son of the Mask"; it may come as a similar surprise to new "X3" director Brett Ratner, who told MTV News just two weeks ago that "everybody" would be returning (see [article id="1503704"]"Brett Ratner Shrugs Off Critics, Promises More Humor In 'X3' "[/article]).

Originally introduced in 1974 as part of a Marvel Comics effort to form a team of international superheroes, Nightcrawler is the alias for Kurt Wagner, a German mutant with the ability to transport himself instantaneously. Although long considered to be one of the more popular members of the "X-Men" clan, the three-fingered creature was left out of the first film, creating a fan desire eventually satiated by Cumming's casting in the sequel.

According to other reports on the actor's site, the eccentric star will be filling his newly emptied schedule by guest-starring on six episodes of the TV show "The L Word" and promoting his new cologne Cumming: The Fragrance. The fans of the "X-Men" movies, meanwhile, might want to purchase a few bottles to help hide the stench of a third movie without Cumming's charismatic teleporter.

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