Markerting for Logan, a film previously known as Wolverine 3, has gotten off to a somewhat unconventional, yet all the same effective start. 20th Century Fox has yet to release a trailer for Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the eponymous X-Men, but director James Mangold has already gotten the conversation around the film up and running – by releasing a page from the script and a pair of storyboards for Logan, in addition to other images suggesting that this movie, as long promised, will indeed have a distinctly different look and feel than either the mainline X-Men movies and/or Wolverine spinoffs past (including, Mangold’s own 2013 film, The Wolverine).
Those (black and white) Logan images have also been made available via the film’s Instagram account; appropriately titled “wponx”, as a reference to the clandestine Weapon X government research project responsible for turning Logan into an adamantium-clawed “weapon.” Some of those photos have proven to be immediately enlightening – such as the pic of Logan costar Boyd Holbrook that heavily suggests the Narcos actor is playing the comic book villain Donald Pierce – while others have been more… enigmatic, by comparison.
The below Logan image, accompanied by a simple text description of “Rest Stop” on the wponx account, arguably falls somewhere between those two extremes. While the image of a pit stop doesn’t may not seem all that reveling at first, it does call attention to the film’s storyline – described by the film’s cast and crew as being something of a buddy/road trip romp that includes Wolverine and a fading Professor X (Patrick Stewart), teaming up for an adventure in a desolate neo-Western style futuristic setting.
Said Logan photo also lends further credence to the long-held claim that the film’s road trip narrative is loosely based on Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Old Man Logan comic book storyline. For those unfamiliar, the latter is a story about a faltering Wolverine who teams up with a blind Hawkeye, in order to take a journey across a post-apocalyptic version of the U.S. (that’s the simple plot summary, anyway). Professor X taking Hawkeye’s spot obviously isn’t the only significant difference between the two stories, but both the R-rated neo-Western vibe of Old Man Logan and its portrayal/deconstruction of the Wolverine character – as well as the (here, literal) long and lonely road he travels – will be key elements of Logan too.
As for how Logan will connect to and/or set up other X-Men films in development: that’s less clear at this stage. Although it doesn’t sound as though the villain Mister Sinister (whose debut in the X-Men movie universe was teased during the X-Men: Apocalypse credits scene) will be appearing here in any significant capacity after all, the character of X-23 may well show up – and might have a future in the X-Men film universe too. If not though, it’s still encouraging to see that Logan is shaping up to be a nice capstone to Jackman’s tenure playing Wolverine that bids farewell to his version of the character in an emotionally compelling (and appropriately violent) fashion.
Logan opens in U.S. theaters on March 3, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6, 2017, March 2, 2018, and June 29, 2018. Deadpool 2, Gambit, New Mutants and X-Force are currently in development.