Wolverine was probably the most popular character in Fox's X-Men franchise. Almost every film in the series featured him in some way until Hugh Jackman retired from the role after giving one last astonishing performance in 2017's Logan. Bringing the character back at some point down the line seemed pretty certain, and that's exactly what Dark Phoenix writer and director Simon Kinberg wanted to do.
Composer and editor John Ottman recently spoke about his unproduced script for an X-Men spinoff film centering around Beast. Among many things, the film would have reintroduced Wolverine to the franchise, which was one reason Kinberg declined to read the script. He already had intentions to recast and reintroduce Logan to the franchise and didn't want his vision influenced by outside ideas.
There's no indication of when Kinberg was looking to reintroduce Wolverine, though it likely would have been in a film set after Dark Phoenix. Of course, those plans were from before Disney's acquired Fox, bringing an end to the current X-Men franchise.
Jackman rocketed to fame in 2000 with the release of X-Men. His portrayal as the gruff, somewhat animalistic Logan has been widely praise over the years, which is why the franchise -- despite being named after the entire team of mutants -- focused mostly on the story of Wolverine and his forgotten past as Weapon X. After 17 years, Jackman retired from the role. It will take a few years but Wolverine will have a new face on the big screen eventually, as Marvel Studios will eventually utilize its new roster of mutants for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)