So here we are, folks. After a nearly two-decade run as our favorite Canucklehead, Hugh Jackman is hanging up the adamantium claws for good with one final outing as the Wolverine. And holy effing crap does it look like he’s doing so in style. The first trailer for Logan dropped yesterday and it has blown our fragile minds. Scored to the super-on-the-nose-but-still-really-emotional “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, the footage looks like a beautiful hybrid of a lonesome Western, a Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic thriller, and, well, The Last Of Us. In other words, it looks like no superhero movie ever has before, especially, y’know, every other X-Men movie to date.
But we have so many questions! Which of the eleventeen X-timelines is this set in? How did Logan wind up palling around with Professor X and Caliban of all people (mutants)? Is Hugh Jackman really going to wrap up his Wolverine career without yelling “Moooooooooooorph!” even once?! Let’s break this sucker down and see if we can’t figure it out.
So first, lets talk about Logan’s setting. We’ve heard that this is farther in the future than any X-flick we’ve seen before, which is crazy since the last time we saw a futuristic X-Men movie it had neon prison camps lorded over by giant flying nanobots. Yep, this is even further into the future than Days of the Future Past’s dystopia — but is this the future of the Wolverine that ran off into the forest at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse? Or is this the future of the Wolverine who redacted the Days of Future Past timeline to return to a version of the Last Stand timeline where The Last Stand never happened? Or is this a totally separate timeline that isn’t connected to either?! Well, luckily, director James Mangold cleared all this business up, confirming that Logan sits at the end of the timeline we saw restored in Days of Future Past. So…the original X-Men movie timeline, if The Last Stand and The Wolverine never happened. Got it.
As the trailer itself kicks off, we hear Logan explain to a semi-senile Professor X that mutants have more or less died off. We see Logan standing outside a funeral chugging a bottle of whiskey, over this exposition…but whose funeral? We’re guessing the last of the original X-Men, though it feels too obvious for it to be Jean Grey. Perhaps Logan’s surrogate daughter, Rogue? That’d be pretty poignant and serve as a nice set-up for Logan’s new family dynamic.
And on that subject, it looks like the four-person Logan ensemble really is the focus of this movie, rather than one of those huge, sweeping, “save the world” premises we’re used to getting from superhero flicks. It looks like Wolverine has brought together his mentor, Professor X, his protege X-23, and, weirdly enough, Caliban. Kind of a random choice, but we’re guessing his ability to locate any mutant in the world will come in handy, particularly with tracking down x-23 and helping to draw her into the protective, clawed arms of our title hero. Then again, it also seems like Caliban gets taken advantage of at some point as we see Donald Pierce and his cyborg militia, the Reavers, torturing him inside the water tower, likely forcing him to locate Logan and friends.
But what about X-23? How does she factor in? Well, more than anything, this film seems to be a story of redemption, with Logan saving himself by helping his kinda-sorta-daughter X-23 escape the clutches of her creators, Transigen. In the comics, X-23 is a clone created with Wolverine’s genes to be the ultimate killing machine. And we’re guessing that’s the case here too, with the villainous Transigen stealing his DNA to create an army of mutants they can control. Heck, not to throw stones but they were probably behind the disease that wiped out the rest of mutantkind as well.
One way or another it looks like X-23 escapes Transigen and makes her way out to Wolverine’s water tower, drawing him into the conflict. In classic Western fashion, Logan has no interest in taking her under his wing, but it sounds like Professor X himself may have drawn her there intentionally to save his friend’s soul. And from the brief snippets of action we see in the trailer, it seems like X-23 has the same berserker rage issues her pseudo-daddy does. We see her hacking and slashing through Transigen goons, even lunging at Logan himself, who barely stops her with his own claws. So we’re guessing Logan’s journey involves helping her move past the darker instincts he’s struggled with his whole life, to give her a chance at peace and happiness that he never had.
As for the action, it looks next-level brutal, especially in the red-band trailer which gives us a gory effects shot that’s more horrifying than badass. That seems to be the vibe this whole movie is chasing; the violence isn’t fun or cool, it’s something painful and dramatic with actual stakes. When the Wolverine fights, it s now, his healing factor no longer what it once was. And when he hurts people he really hurts them. This feeling is never more evident than in the trailer’s last shot, where a bloodstained X-23 grabs Logan’s hand after they’ve seemingly buried someone. If we had to guess, we’d say that’s Professor X under the dirt, which really hammers home the fact that unlike literally every superhero movie that’s come before it, this is a drama first, and an action movie second. A bold move, and we’ve gotta say, we’re really impressed with what Mangold and company are doing here.
But what do you guys think? Do you dig the Logan trailer? Do you think we’ll meet another villain beyond Donald Pierce and the Reavers? Do you think Wolverine will die at the end of this thing? Certainly feels that way. Lets discuss!