LOGAN || A few weeks after the new poster for Logan premiered, here we have the trailer, which depicts a post-apocalyptic world much further down the X-Men timeline then we’ve ever been before. This is significant for many reasons, especially since this will be Hugh Jackman’s last turn as the Wolverine, as this will be his coup de grâce as the character. Director Mangold has gone out of his way to make this film feel different than any other superhero film and with the help of Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt,” that is completely apparent. Mangold also directed Walk The Line, so the music choice does not go unnoticed. Having directed the previous standalone Wolverine film, aptly titled The Wolverine, was set in Japan and had a very minimalist, Western feel which is also shared by Logan.
Although no official synopsis has been released by Mangold’s camp, here’s what we know. With a story closely based on the comic run titled “Old Man Logan”, Hugh Jackman returns as The Wolverine, but he’s aged, as seen by the grey in his beard and the scars on his back. This is slightly different from the Wolverine we’ve always known, because he could always heal before. Having scars means he’s been through something bigger than we’ve ever seen. On top of that, he’s covered in blood by the end of the trailer, so that shows a different side to him as well. The only other returning X-Men cast member that we know of from the trailer is Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier. His mission in this is to get Wolverine/Logan to care about a little girl that shares Wolverine’s abilities (for those that may not know, Wolverine has an adamantium-laced skeleton with retractable, blade-like claws as well as accelerated healing.
From the voice-over and look of things, the age of mutants is dwindling. On the hunt for mutants are the much hinted at Reavers, who hate mutants and are likely after the girl, to which she will need Wolverine’s protection. The head Reaver appears to be Donald Pierce, a character introduced to the comics in 1980 and played here by Boyd Holbrook (Milk, Gone Girl). The Reavers are a band of cyborg vigilantes with the sole mission of exterminating mutants. In the comics, the vendetta comes from being all but wiped out by the X-Men. Pierce is a cyborg with four artificial limbs, providing for superhuman strength and speed.
Dafne Keen is the young actress playing Laura Kinney, or as many refer to her as X-23, a clone made from the DNA of Logan, and as close to a daughter as he’ll ever get. She has the same exact powers as Logan and even though she does not say a word through the entire trailer, I wonder if we can assume it is her claws that Logan is shielding himself from in one of the mysterious shots in the trailer. This will be Keen’s feature film debut, having only been on a television series titled The Refugees, a show from the UK about people from the future seeking refuge in the present. One has to wonder, seeing as this is Jackman’s last turn as Wolverine, if this will be some sort of passing of the torch, although, this being set in the future, I’m not sure how involved she could be in past events. As standalone as this film may be, there will likely still be some connection to the progression of the franchise.
Not appearing in the trailer from what I could see, Richard E. Grant will also star as Dr. Zander Rice, the surgeon behind the creation of X-23 and Stephen Merchant as Caliban, a mutant who helps Logan with taking care of Professor Xavier. X-Men director Bryan Singer also confirmed in the commentary for X-Men: Apocalypse, that the supervillain Mister Sinister will also make his debut in the film, although he does not appear to be cast yet. There’s also a masked man at one point in the trailer, but he could also be one of the characters mentioned above.
Overall, at least from this teaser, Mangold achieves in setting the apart from the superhero genre, with the appearance of Wolverine’s claws only a few times and nothing else to really shine a particular spotlight on anything involving superheroes besides the mere mention of mutants. Even down to the title treatment, Mangold differentiates, with a simple, white font that is not extraordinary in the least. This feels very Western, with the desert background and brown, Western clothes. Add to that the new freedom of an R-rating, thanks to the success of Deadpool. Logan’s budget stands at $127 million and even though the last standalone Wolverine film only made $132 million domestically on a $120 million budget, this will personally be great in delivering something fresh and dynamic to a franchise that will see this as its tenth installment.
Hopefully it will be the perfect send off for Jackman, who serious made this role his own and iconicized it unlike anyone else could, devoting a huge chunk of his career to it. It will be sad to see him go, but hopefully it will open the door to something else new and exciting in the X-Men world.
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Directed By: James Mangold