The curtain has now been properly pulled back on Logan, the upcoming X-Men franchise installment that will serve as Hugh Jackman’s swan song to his time playing Wolverine on the big screen. Several long-standing rumors surrounding the film have now been confirmed too, with marketing for the soon-to-be-R-Rated comic book adaptation having gotten fully underway. Among other things, it’s now official that the main villains in Logan are the cybernetic criminals known as Reavers (led by Boyd Holbrook’s Donald Pierce) and that the young girl (Dafne Keen) whom Logan helps Professor X (Charles Xavier) to protect in the movie, is Laura Kinney (aka the mutant X-23).
Wolverine himself is more vulnerable than ever in Logan, with director James Mangold (who also helmed 2013’s The Wolverine) having confirmed that although Wolvie still has his mutant healing abilities, they have diminished. So much is evident in the shots from the Logan trailer that show that Wolverine’s body is now littered with scars from the various injuries he’s sustained over time. Whereas Wolverine’s hand instantly healed from a (self-inflicted) cigar burn in X2: X-Men United, the character’s hands no longer immediately heal after he pops his claws by the time Logan picks up with him.
Mangold has posted yet another black and white Logan photograph to his Twitter account (see below); this one, featuring a shirtless Jackman in character as Wolverine, who continues to look pretty rough around the edges (even by his standards). The image also reveals even more of the scars that Logan has accumulated over the years by the time the movie begins, in addition to further proving that his flesh wounds now take longer to heal.
The above Logan photograph also calls attention to the film’s main settings: El Paso and sparsely-populated areas in Texas that give the movie a gritty western atmosphere (as was the intention early on during Logan‘s development). It’s not altogether clear yet if the world at large in Logan has fallen into disarray and become a post-apocalyptic wasteland, when the film picks up in the not-too-distant future – or, if Wolverine simply chooses to live in a mostly-abandoned area of the world, now that the mutant population has greatly diminished for reasons that have yet to be revealed.
That western tone and Jackman’s “aged Wolverine” physique also make Logan something of an homage to writer Mark Millar’s famous Old Man Logan comic book storyline – though at this point, it has been firmly established that there are major differences between Logan and Old Man Logan too. The former is also pulling from other comic book sources for inspiration (the Death of Wolverine comics, for one example); hence the inclusion of elements like X-23 and the Reavers.
Mangold has made it clear that his end goal here is to deliver an X-Men installment that stands well apart from other superhero/comic book movie adaptations, in terms of its filmmaking qualities. So far, he seems to have succeeded at doing just that, based on what we’ve been shown of Logan already. Here’s to hoping that outlook doesn’t change, over the 4-5 months left until the film actually hits theaters.