After a few weeks of dropping teaser images and posters, FOX has finally unleashed the first trailer for “Logan.” The third and final Wolverine solo film finds Hugh Jackman’s clawed Canadian bearded, damaged and mostly alone in a dark and dreary future. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, watch it — and be warned that Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” is used in an incredibly appropriate way. That’s how much pain is in this trailer.
We know a few things about “Logan” so far: it’s set in the near future, Wolverine’s healing factor is pretty much non-existent, and it’ll mark the live action debuts of X-23 and Donald Pierce. All of that gets revealed in the trailer, too, along with a lot more stuff. There’s so much going on in this trailer, we’re breaking down just what’s what in this first look at Hugh Jackman’s last Wolverine film.
X-Men fans should find a shot like this quite familiar. When dark futures are shown in X-stories, a scene always has to take place at a cemetery. What’re the odds that a few familiar names — maybe Scott Summers or Jean Grey? — are on some of those tombstones? This part of the trailer also sets the stage for this X-Men film. It looks like the happy ending Wolverine found himself in at the end of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” — one wherein all of the X-Men were alive and teaching at Xavier’s — has met a tragic end. Something has killed all the mutants except for a handful, and Wolverine’s among that handful. Fans of the comics will recognize this plotline from a number of places, namely the original “Days of Future Past” storyline (where mutants were hunted to near extinction), “House of M” (where reality was rewritten, erasing all but 198 mutants) and the current struggle with the Inhumans (where the Terrigen Mist is making mutants deathly ill).
From a leaked script page, we knew going into this trailer that Wolverine’s healing factor would be pretty much kaput. This shot shows the damage done to a mostly human Wolverine, who clearly doesn’t have mutant health insurance… which is odd, given he’s Canadian. One has to wonder, though, if Logan’s healing factor has given out in old age (the guy’s pushing 200) or if it’s a side effect of whatever happened that killed all the mutants. Fans of the current ongoing “Old Man Logan” series by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino — a spinoff of sorts from the original series by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, on which “Logan” is very loosely based — will of course know that his healing factor has indeed declined with his advancing years. Then again, it’s possible that Wolverine is himself sick, or that he’s naturally nearing the end of his extremely long life. Either way, he’s gotta be more careful this time around.
Return of Xavier
As bad as things are for Logan, they look even worse for Professor X. Looking weaker, older and more physically frail than ever, Patrick Stewart’s once stately mutant champion has been reduced to a sickly old man clinging to the rails of his hospital bed. And where exactly is Xavier? This sure doesn’t look like any hospital we’ve ever seen; more like he’s in some sort of medical tent or perhaps living out of the upturned water tower that we see Logan entering at one point in the trailer. We know that Xavier’s powers are also on the fritz, possibly because of the same thing that’s affected Logan — and maybe because of what’s killed all the mutants. But one thing’s for sure: this is the saddest state we’ve seen Xavier in since he was spotted sporting groovy bell bottoms in “Days of Future Past.”
“She’s like you, very much like you,” we hear Xavier strain to say when Logan asks him who the mysterious little girl (Dafne Keen) is. Fans will of course know that the little girl is “like” Logan because she was cloned from him, at least in the comics. She’s X-23, a relatively recent addition to the X-mythos who has grown to become one of the most popular characters in the entire comic franchise. Laura Kinney was cloned from Wolverine and possesses his healing factor, as well as adamantium claws of her own; although she hides her third between her toes. She’s grown over the years, from a frightened and feral girl to a young woman now proudly wearing the mantle of Wolverine after his untimely demise. We don’t learn this little girl’s name or hear her speak in the trailer, but we do see her in action, proving that she’s definitely based on X-23, at least. That alone has us very, very excited.
The trailer also gives us a look at the heavily disguised Caliban. Played by “The Office” co-creator Stephen Merchant, Caliban is an albino mutant gifted with the ability to track other mutants. This get-up itself is a callout to X-Men continuity; when Caliban debuted in 1981’s “Uncanny X-Men” #148, he was sporting a shroud and giant hat much like the one he’s wearing here. It’s also worth pointing out that Merchant will be the second actor to play Caliban — or at least a version of Caliban — in two years’ time. Tómas Lemarquis played the character in this year’s “X-Men: Apocalypse,” although odds are this will be treated as an entirely different and new character by director James Mangold. Inconsistencies like that are kinda just how the X-Men movies work at this point.
While “Logan” is undeniably dark, you’ve gotta appreciate the fact that it looks like a road trip is at the heart of this film. Xavier urges Logan to step in and help X-23, with part of that assistance apparently involving everyone piling into a big king cab truck and hitting the literally dusty trail. Considering the film’s somber tone, it’s unlikely that we’ll get all of the road trip tropes that we’d really love to see play out, but that’s not to say we won’t have a few shining moments smattered here and there. We’d love to see Wolverine not letting anyone touch the radio, X-23 eating candy nonstop, Xavier having to use the restroom every few miles — these are things we kinda hope “Logan” manages to work in in-between all the brooding and marauding. Come on, it’d be great!
Unlike previous X-Men films, which are mostly super power extravaganzas with special effects galore, “Logan” looks like a remarkably grounded affair. That might be because all the mutants with showy powers have died, leaving just the nominally-powered brawlers. It’s telling that the biggest action spectacle in this trailer involves Wolverine behind the wheel of a big ol’ truck, speeding down the highway next to an 18-wheeler and spinning out to avoid an unseen assailant. With this being a more grounded X-movie, odds are we’ll see plenty of action sequences untouched by CGI, truly setting “Logan” apart from previous X-films.
Previous Instagram posts have revealed that Donald Pierce and his Reavers will be some of the film’s antagonists, and we get to see Boyd Holbrook bring the classic X-villain to life in this trailer. Holbrook’s take on Pierce definitely looks the part; he’s got super cool blonde hair, good looks and a partially cybernetic arm. Add in an undying hatred for Wolverine and, yep, that’s pretty much Donald Pierce to a T. We don’t get to see Pierce do much in this trailer besides suavely remove his sunglasses, stand in the vicinity of a government helicopter and look up dramatically. We also don’t get to see much of the Reavers either, although it’s possible that all of the generic looking tough guys that meet the business end of Logan’s claws are Reavers. Unfortunately, it’s probably unlikely that Reavers like Bonebreaker — whose lower body is just a tank — will appear in this film. That of course being the one downside to the more grounded approach to its atmosphere.
Logan To The Rescue
We then flash back to Xavier’s medical refuge for a quick shot of Logan carrying the frail Xavier, presumably rescuing him from whatever sad predicament he’s found himself in in this bleak future, or maybe just taking him out for a stroll. It’s interesting to see how big of a role Xavier is playing in this film. Judging by the amount of footage of him in the trailer, it seems likely that he’s the film’s main supporting character, which means we’re about to get the most of Patrick Stewart‘s Xavier — possibly even more than we saw him in 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” That’s appropriate since Stewart has said that this is most likely his last X-Men film as well. Stewart and Jackman began this journey together 16 years ago in “X-Men,” kicking off a massive franchise and helping to legitimize superhero movies with mainstream audiences. When you think about that and the number of films these two have appeared in together, it adds a nice layer of sentimentality to an otherwise brutal looking picture.
A Quiet Moment
Interestingly, the trailer also hints at some of the film’s more tender moments between its three leads. We get a quick look at a cozy dinner between Logan, X-23 and Xavier, with all three of them smiling; especially Xavier, whose old man smiley-frown effervesces a palpable melancholy. Then we get this shot: Logan resting in X-23’s lap — a scene that feels more than reminiscent of the caring, familial relationship Wolverine had with Rogue in the very first X-Men film, but almost in reverse. For a guy that constantly talks about being a tough guys and a loner, Wolverine sure does make a lot of friends. Rogue, Jean, Yukio, Mariko and now X-23 — if Logan had Facebook, he’d definitely be accepting more friend requests than he’d outwardly let on.
Finally, a minute and twenty seconds into the trailer, we get to see Wolverine do what he does best: pop claws and break jaws. Up until this point, we’ve spent time touching base with the characters and setting up the world. This is the first film to feature Wolverine’s first name, rather than his codename, and as such it looks to be much more character-driven. The claws — as iconic as they are — are not what “Logan” seems to be all about, which is kind of a good thing. It is great that they come out right as Johnny Cash croons “I will make you hurt,” though. That’s solid editing, right there! But popping the claws comes with a price; we know from the first “X-Men” film that them cutting through his flesh hurts every time, and we also know that it’s his healing factor that closed up the wounds instantaneously. But now that he’s without a strong healing factor, will he still be able to use his claws so readily?
X-23 In Action
For diehard fans of Laura Kinney, these quick shots of X-23 in action are a big deal. The little girl Wolverine is protecting won’t be helpless, as this scene so spectacularly illustrates. In fact, it proves that she’ll be able to take care of herself quite well, dispatching, as she does, a half dozen armed officers with what looks like great ease. This is perfectly in line with the comics, of course, which have always characterized X-23 as a highly capable — and ruthless — fighter able to stand up to pretty much anyone else in the Marvel Universe. It’s also worth pointing out that while we don’t get any definitive shots of X-23’s claws in this trailer, she is stabbing these guards in the neck and flinging them around using those claws (even if the lighting and speed mask them).
Following the success of the R-rated “Deadpool” in 2016, the idea of mature-audiences-only superhero films doesn’t seem so insane anymore. The third and final Wolverine film is finally taking that plunge and going for the rating that many fans feel a clawed berserker has always warranted. The red band version of this trailer differs from the widely released one in one major way: the addition of a scene wherein Wolverine’s claws do… well, exactly what they’re doing in the above image. With an R rating, this will be a Wolverine film most likely packed with more blood and far fewer cutaway shots. That one frame alone reveals that this is a film that won’t pull its punches. Or its claws.
Claws On Claws?
The red band trailer is, however, missing the above shot, wherein Wolverine wrestles with an unseen opponent. This shot is noteworthy because it begs the question: who is he fighting? Are those claws? Are they knives? Could those be X-23’s claws? They look straighter and rounder than Wolverine’s, and there also seem to be too many since X-23 only has two on each hand. It also looks like Wolverine’s wrestling with another full-grown adult, not a child. So who could those belong to? Are they a cybernetic enhancement to Donald Pierce? Could we see another version of Lady Deathstrike in this film? We’re still early enough in the process for “Logan” to have more villains it hasn’t revealed, and Deathstrike does have a strong connection to Donald Pierce. As we’ve seen time and time again with X-Men films, they don’t have a problem re-casting characters.
While the final shot of the film isn’t explicitly a funeral scene, there are enough clues that indicate that being the case. For one thing, Wolverine’s shirt is covered in blood — is it fresh blood? Is it his? He’s also standing with X-23 out in the woods, with her holding his hand as if to comfort him. And Wolverine’s leaning on something, something that could easily be a shovel. But if it’s a funeral scene, who is it for? Our money’s on Xavier, who already looks like he’s on his last legs and losing the Professor would definitely up the stakes for whatever the film has in store for its final act.
What did you think of the trailer? Is there anything we missed in the breakdown that looks interesting? Let us know in the comments!
Directed by James Mangold, written by Michael Green, Scott Frank, James Mangold and David James Kelly, and starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Dafne Keen and Stephen Merchant, “Logan” arrives in theaters on March 3, 2017.
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