This past week saw the unveiling of the trailer for Logan, next years entry in the Wolverine series of films. Before I get into it, here it is if you haven’t seen it yet.
If you have seen it, watch it again because it is good, really good. So it’s only the teaser trailer but it gives a good insight into what the film is going to give us and what we’re going to get could well mean Logan is finally the Wolverine film we’ve been waiting and hoping for.
Like it or not this is the third film focusing on the character of Wolverine so let’s address that first. X-Men Origins Wolverine was released in 2009 as a prequel/spin off and is generally considered the worst film of the X-Men franchise, the only bright spot being Hugh Jackman’s performance, making the transition to full title character with no problem. Also not helping Origins cause was that it featured the live action debut of Deadpool and proceeded to get it about as wrong as possible, sewing up the Merc with a Mouth’s mouth.
A significant improvement was 2013’s The Wolverine, set in Japan as a sequel to the X-Men films, The Wolverine saw Hugh Jackman delivering once again as the title character. Taking away much of the bad taste of Origins, what The Wolverine improved upon was not feeling the need to feature comic book name mutants without purpose and focusing on a good story, helped along by taking Wolverine’s healing factor away to up the stakes. With an inconsistent track record fans are still sceptical this film can truly deliver the Wolverine film everyone has wanted since X2. A great trailer is a start but Logan still has work to do to convince.
Old Man Logan
Like almost all comic book films Logan will borrow from multiple comic book interpretations and arcs but it appears one that will be used heavily is Old Man Logan. If you haven’t heard of it, Old Man Logan is a highly regarded eight issue series set in a future that has been conquered by villains and where Logan has given up the Wolverine persona, living with his family and refusing to use his claws. While it doesn’t look like the events of the series will be used much, this will likely be a big influence on the character of Logan in the film. It is revealed in the trailer that for an as yet untold reason he has stopped being The Wolverine and the film appears to be set in some kind of barren wasteland, another big plot point it shares with the comic.
In the trailer we see a young girl, played by Dafne Keen, who it has now been confirmed is X-23. A character that debuted in comic books relatively recently in 2004, she quickly went on to become a popular fixture in the X-Men universe, going so far as to have now taken the mantle of Wolverine. In the comics X-23 is a clone of Wolverine, created in an attempt to replicate the experiment that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton. Her character differs from Wolverine however in that she has full memories of the experiments and is constantly challenged to move past that, unlike Wolverine whose past and memories are taken from him.
In regards to her appearance in Logan, she should present an opportunity for Wolverine’s character to have someone young and far less experienced in the world, to try to guide in the right direction. This isn’t something we’ve seen from the character on screen yet, having been giving a version in the first X-Men in 2000 with Rogue but that was a different character to what we have now.
From everything we’ve seen the main villain’s of Logan will be the Reavers, a criminal cyborg gang. In the comics they are dedicated to the X-Men’s destruction but in Logan it appears they’ve widened they’re aim to eliminating all Mutants and have nearly succeeded. As Cyborg’s they possess enhanced strength and durability so will have no problem going toe to toe with Wolverine and in Logan will be led by Donald Pierce a violent, bigoted cyborg who has the opportunity to be the foe Wolverine has lacked in his stand alone films thus far.
Finally the elephant in the room, this seems set to be Hugh Jackman’s last go round as Wolverine. In the course of playing the character for 17 years (yes, really!) Jackman has done it so well and so consistently it’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. It only seems natural that as his last portrayal it should be an older Wolverine, who himself could be making one last stand while taking someone from the next generation under his wing. To further compliment this being Jackman’s last ride, he’s teaming up once again with possibly his greatest foil in the X-Men films, Patrick Stewart aka Charles Xavier, himself almost certainly in his last portrayal of the character too. Regardless of the varying quality of the many films, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine has always been a highpoint and Jackman, the fans and Wolverine deserve this to be a fitting swansong. I for one am fully confident it will be.