From the initial announcement that 2oth Century Fox’s third and supposedly final Wolverine-helmed film would be adapted from Marvel Comics’ “Old Man Logan” storyline, fans wondered what kind of narrative gymnastics the movie brain trust at the studio would have to make. The source material is heavily shaped by characters like Hawkeye, the Red Skull, and the Hulk–all Marvel characters Fox doesn’t have the film rights to touch.
Yesterday, we got an inkling of how Fox will dance around that issue. The Wrap revealed details about the film, called simply Logan, which will hit theaters next March. According to director James Mangold, the film takes place in 2024 during a time when the mutant species is on the wane. Wolverine’s healing factor ain’t what it used to be and he’s resorted to being sullen, drinking heavily, and driving a limo to make the long green. Further, an inside source told The Wrap that Wolvie has taken to caring for both Professor X–whose memories and powers are unstable–and a young mutant, bred by a corporation as a killing machine, with two claws similar to Logan’s own slice-and-dicers.
Today, Mangold tweeted out a pic of Patrick Stewart as an older Charles Xavier, who looks a bit worse for wear. Which, honestly, I don’t quite understand in terms of X-Men chronology. I wasn’t going to bring it up because it seems trivial and the X-Men movie timeline is always in a state of fuckered flux anyway, but where will Logan (which, I know, is set in an alternate future) fall in terms of what’s come before? Does the X-universe take place in the real world, but just one populated with mutants? If so, does it make sense that everything would hit the fan so magnificently terribly in just eight years? Does the movie take place after the future we see at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past? Where are the other X-people? And, more importantly, who beat the Hell out of Professor X with an age stick that makes him look three decades older and not just one?
These aren’t important questions. What is important is that it sounds like we’re going to see a version of X-23 (on whom the aforementioned young mutant killer is based) onscreen, which, in all reality, I didn’t expect any time soon. And a depowered–or, at the very least, powered-down–Wolverine is always much more interesting to me than the force-of-nature, teenage-empowerment fantasy he’s often written as. I’m intrigued.
But as one of our managing editors noted the other day: Things will be okay as long as the film is rated R for a reason. If it’s just so the filmmakers can use the word “fuck,” then that’s weak sauce. If it’s in place in order to let Logan rip-wild with the claw-popping, sign me up.
Logan, starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan and Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier and directed by James Mangold, hits theaters March 3rd, 2017.
Also, check out the first official poster for Logan if you haven’t already!