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 “Brett Ratner Shrugs Off Critics, Promises More Humor In ‘X3′ “ ).

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.

Check out everything we’ve got on href="/movies/movie/241375/moviemain.jhtml">“X3.”

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