Logan is reported to be the final big screen outing for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, a role that he has owned and defined for a staggering 17 years. Here's everything you need to know about what's set to be a far more brutal, emotional and melancholy film than any of the character's big screen outings to date:
Will Turner: Is it confirmed this is an alternate universe?
What, you want more than that? Fine.
Talk of Logan existing in an alternative universe has been largely driven by its similarities to short comic series Old Man Logan which is set in an alternative universe where Logan sheds his Wolverine persona after being fooled into killing his fellow X-Men. But that story also features lots of major players in the Marvel universe, and Fox doesn’t have the rights to use any of them.
How it actually fits into the convoluted X-Men timeline is… complicated, especially as director and actor can’t seem to quite agree. Hugh Jackman is quoted as saying, “It's a standalone movie in many ways. It's not really beholden to time lines and story lines in the other movies. Obviously Patrick Stewart was in there so we have some crossover but it feels very different and very fresh."
Meanwhile, James Mangold states that, “We are in the future, we have passed the point of the epilogue of Days of Future Past”, which suggests that this is very much part of the existing timeline, or at least the one that was created when Logan helped to undo the mutant genocide in Days of Future Past.
So yes, technically it’s an alternative universe, but not an alternative to the alternative if you catch my drift.
Charlie Wilson: Is X-23 the daughter of Wolverine and where are the X-Men?
To the uninitiated, X-23 is the codename given to the young girl you’ve seen in the trailers – at least it is in her previous incarnations across comics, cartoons and videogames. While it’s clear that’s who Dafne Keen is portraying in the film, especially when those iconic double claws are unsheathed, she has only been referred to as Laura to date. You can shave all my hair off and call me Charles if a fan-pleasing reference to her Weapon X identity isn’t included somewhere, though.
Is she Wolverine’s daughter? Yes and no. Laura is widely believed to be Logan’s clone, evidenced by Professor Xavier’s line: “She’s like you, very much like you.” So yes, Logan and Laura share DNA, but she isn’t his offspring in the traditional sense.
The absence of other familiar X-faces hasn’t been explained, although James Mangold has stated that it’s set in 2029, which would put it five years after the seemingly rosy ending of Days of Future Past. Clearly something has gone horribly wrong in the intervening period, which might explain why everybody looks like it would physically hurt them to crack a smile.
Darrell Shaw: Wasn't X-23 created by Mr Sinister and after the Easter Egg in Apocalypse is he going to appear?
Bryan Singer had stated in an interview that the post-credits scene teasing X-Men ubervillain Mr. Sinister – also known as Nathaniel Essex – would tie directly into his appearance in Logan. However, Logan director James Mangold has quashed that, saying that Sinister’s brand of, quote, “operatic, highly-costumed, stroboscopic villainy” was not a good fit for Logan’s grounded aesthetic.
You are right in saying that Mr. Sinister’s company Essex Corporation created X-23 in the comics, so while Mr. Sinister might not appear, there’s every chance he’ll at least receive a mention.
So who are the villains, then? The big bad appears to be Richard E. Grant’s Dr Zander Rice, who in the comics is the son of a scientist who worked on the original Weapon X project and was killed by an escaping Wolverine. Zander heads up the Transigen project, which is an attempt to replicate the Weapon X program, and there’s a very strong chance that the vial of Wolverine’s blood retrieved in Apocalypse’s post-credits scene is central to that.
Then there’s Donald Pierce, played by Boyd Holbrook. Another mainstay of the X-Men comics, Pierce is a self-loathing, mutant-hating cyborg. In the film, he is head of a group of cyborg commandos called the Reavers, who are tasked with retrieving Laura for project Transigen. Although Pierce and the Reavers have a particular hatred for Wolverine in the comics, the cinematic Donald Pierce apparently has some admiration for Logan – according to Holbrook, “he just wants to hang out with Wolverine.”
Last year, director James Mangold posted the second page of Logan’s script to prove that this will be the film Wolverine fans have been clamouring for.
Daniel Cunnigham: Why have they all got mouths on them like hairy dockers who have stubbed their toes?
You can thank Deadpool for that. When the merc with a mouth’s movie grossed $760m for Fox, the studio realised there was a market for mature superhero films. Not that Deadpool could be considered mature in any way, but y’know, swearing and blood and stuff was officially ok again.
So if you thought that previous Wolverine films felt neutered by their family-friendly age rating, director James Mangold has promised to make amends. Last year, he posted the second page of Logan’s script to prove that this will be the film Wolverine fans have been clamouring for. “In this flick, people will get hurt or killed when s••t falls on them. They will get just as hurt or just as killed if they get hit with something big and heavy like, say, a car.” No doubt they’ll also swear like sailors just before dying horribly too.
Matthew Boris Edson: How does he get his claws back?
The simple answer is: he didn’t lose them. Yes, in The Wolverine he has his adamantium claws sliced off by The Silver Samurai and grows new bone claws in their place, but once again thanks to Logan’s efforts to change the X-Men timeline back in the 60s, it’s likely that the events of The Wolverine ceased to exist.
But if, somehow, changing the course of history still led Logan to take an ill-advised trip to Japan, X-Men director Bryan Singer has it covered. In an interview with Empire magazine, Singer claims that Magneto might have re-bonded the adamantium to Wolverine’s claws to give him a fighting chance against the Sentinels.
In summary: don’t think too hard about it.
Gary Steffens: Why is he scarred and not healing?
We’ve grown accustomed to Logan taking a hideous beating and emerging with nary a scratch, so when the trailers revealed that his body is now a canvas painted with terrible scars, we were left wondering whether his healing factor had finally abandoned him. Not so according to the script, which states that his healing factor is merely “diminished” and “keeps him in a constant state of chronic pain”.
When pushed further on this, director James Mangold said, “We questioned whether Logan's healing factor causes him to heal without even a scar. We imagined that it may have when he was younger, but with age, he's getting older and ailing… So we imagined he heals quickly, still, but it leaves a scar. The simple idea was that his body would start to get a little more ravaged with a kind of tattooing of past battles, lacerations that remain of previous conflicts.”
So while Logan now has lasting reminders of every pasting he’s received, he’s still capable of taking significantly more punishment than your average Joe.
Well hopefully that’s answered some of the major questions hanging over Logan without spoiling too much of the film, which you can pre-order tickets for right now if you want to guarantee a seat when it releases nationwide on 1st March. Thanks for your questions, thanks for watching and, as ever, keep enjoying that beautiful big screen entertainment.