Spoiler Warning: Major spoilers ahead for all “X-Men” related comic book movies from Fox
How FOX has handled the “Wolverine” franchise has always been a contentious topic, breeding a lot of polarized opinions, with several loyalists calling for the rights to revert to Marvel Studios. This echoes the sentiments of those who believe that FOX mishandles the “X-Men” franchise in general.
There was a glimmer of hope for Weapon X fans, however, with the success of “Deadpool,” which reignited the belief that we could see justice done in “Logan” to the Canadian anti-hero with an adamantium skeleton and healing factor. The gore-fest that Ryan Reynolds and company put on teased that, just maybe, Hugh Jackman could actually become the foul-mouthed, claw-popping killing machine we’re familiar with from a plethora of Marvel comics. With optimism popping anew, CBR has decided to look at what we want to see when the movie lands in March 2017.
15. Berserker Mode
An animalistic take on Wolverine was something that we never got from earlier films. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” delivered a different and somewhat diluted spin while James Mangold’s follow-up, “The Wolverine,” offered slight glimpses into his grittier nature. It was only in Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” that we saw Logan fully unleashed in this mode when the young X-Men stumbled across his Weapon X program: a 16-year wait for diehards.
With Mangold returning and loosely incorporating the “Old Man Logan” story, audiences have already been treated to Logan unsheathing claws with murderous intent in the red-band trailer. In said comic, Logan struggled with his inner turmoil while living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland overrun by villains. The entire X-Men roster was annihilated, with Wolverine’s role in the massacre making him swear never to use his claws again. If he ends up suppressing such instincts while trying to protect the newly-introduced clone in Laura (aka X-23) and old friend Charles Xavier, then once he mentally breaks, expect the worst. Hell hath no fury like an unhinged Logan.
14. Logan’s The Reason The X-Men Are Gone
In “Old Man Logan,” the grief that engulfed Wolverine was due to him slaughtering his X-Men teammates because of illusions fed to him by Mysterio, making him think they were his enemies. The weight of this guilt led to him putting his claws away, as well as retiring the Wolverine persona. These threads of abandonment have already been sewn throughout material released displaying an older and weathered Logan in (self-imposed?) exile, which begs the question: where are the X-Men in this movie?
What was his role in their apparent disappearance? From the trailer, it seems that the team disbanded, or worse, were wiped out. He appears to be remorseful, so if that regret stems from a failed mission that led to their demise or him being manipulated to kill his brethren, then expect an emotionally riveting story. What could spice things up even further is if Logan wasn’t just responsible for taking the X-Men out, but as teasers have shown, that he also played a key role in the apparent lack of mutants in the world. Blame is a poison that courses through Logan’s veins and we’re hoping it’s exploited to show that despite the torture, Logan can overcome.
13. Mister Sinister
In the “Apocalypse” post-credits scene, we saw men in suits visiting the Weapon X facility where William Stryker conducted his mutant research on Logan, taking away an x-ray and a blood sample marked “Weapon X” on behalf of the Essex Corporation. This was a direct reference to the nefarious Nathaniel Essex, aka Mister Sinister. When it comes to genetic manipulation, Sinister’s usually concerned with the Summers family, as well as Jean Grey, who he cloned, creating Madelyne Pryor, Cable’s mother.
However, fiddling with Logan’s DNA to produce X-23 is an addition that would make sense, especially as he already had to be expelled from her mind in a solo comic series a few years ago. This was part of a rivalry that pitted Laura against a clone of Sinister himself, called Miss Sinister. With that acquaintance formalized, roping Sinister in as chief architect and perhaps X-23’s “father” would be an interesting dynamic, especially given how much he likes to play God and tinker with immortality. All of these are the right ingredients to square him up against Logan, so we’re hoping Sinister does have a main presence.
Given the state of the world today and the sociopolitical views on refugees and migrants, Genosha would be a powerful statement to make. In the comics, it’s an island where mutants seek haven and hide from the xenophobia shown towards the children of the atom. The X-Men, and Magneto in particular, have often elevated its status in the mainstream Marvel universe so it’s something fans would love to see.
This movie offers what appears to be its own version of Caliban, whose powers allow him to locate fellow mutants. We’ve seen little-to-no sign of other mutants from Mangold’s new vision, which begs the question: could they be hiding out as Morlocks? Maybe in Genosha? Could Caliban be the key to finding them? Genosha doesn’t necessarily need to be an island; it could simply be a compound or stronghold as per the ones we’ve seen heroes hole up in in “The Walking Dead.” Even if it’s a bar or a train, a simple retcon can smartly paint Genosha as an ideal, a philosophy and a symbol of hope — a place of protection and light for mutants; or to put it in the modern parlance, a safe space.
11. Neo-Western Soundtrack
A proper soundtrack adds definition, flair and character to a movie or series. “Luke Cage” on Netflix is a great example of this. The musical element of that show flavored it with a distinct personality that not only lit Harlem up, but added a cavalier touch to Cage himself. The ’80s synth-vibe also empowered “Stranger Things” in a similar way. In our first look at “Logan,” a big talking point was how the trailer overlaid the footage to Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (a cover of the Nine Inch Nails classic), which perfectly reflected the Promethean aspect of Logan.
Pairing this song with the character embodied his tortured existence and how he hid himself away in an empire of dirt and pain. Here, we’re presented with a Clint Eastwood-on-the-run vibe, which deserves a raw Western-influenced soundtrack. Chris Pine’s “Hell or High Water” is a fine example of how such a modern Western should unfold, as its score brought its essence out even more, fully capturing the drama of bank-robbing brothers on the lam. “Logan” has the traits begging for something similar and we can already hear its score flowing subtlety and with a minimal acoustic presence; all for the angst our main character will undoubtedly be wallowing in.
10. Sabretooth Cameo
“Origins” borrowed heavily from its 2001 comic by Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins and Andy Kubert. Both the film and the book reconciled James Howlett and Victor Creed as half-brothers, sharing the same father and healing factor. The movie added its own narrative, presenting the duo as soldiers before Creed’s bloodlust turned him into Sabretooth. Liev Schreiber took on this role in Gavin Hood’s film and was one of its redeeming factors, dramatically playing up his brotherhood with Jackman while wiping away Tyler Mane’s past depiction.
Sabretooth eventually switched allegiances and helped Wolverine stave off Stryker’s cohorts, but since then, we haven’t seen him. It’s tough to pinpoint where he could fit in because we don’t know if he’s a savage or a regretful half-brother. After all, FOX doesn’t have a knack for ironing out continuity in their ever-contorting timelines. It’d be awesome if he pops up while Logan’s rummaging through old souvenirs: in a photograph or while visiting a gravestone? In Jackman’s last hurrah, maybe they’ll cross paths as Schreiber himself may have hinted. Imagine the maelstrom of emotions if he meets his former enemy, or if Creed ends up being the only person Logan can turn to for help.
9. The Feral Family
In the comics, the author of all Logan’s agony was Romulus, leader of the Lupines, who evolved from canines and not primates. Other members of the feral family that Logan encountered include Feral, her sister Thornn, Wolfsbane, Wild Child and Logan’s son, Daken. It’s unlikely that Romulus will factor into this film, so his role could fall to the experimental Sinister, whose grasp has always exceeded his reach. It’s a safe bet that there aren’t any limits to what the Essex Corporation has been detailing all these years, so maybe they could shuck a few Logan-esque mutants in our hero’s path — there is some claw-on-claw action at the end of the trailer, after all.
We’ve already seen Donald Pierce hinted at as the movie’s main hunter, but rest assured that he may be holding aces up his robotic sleeve other than just Reavers. Whether it’s Pierce and/or Sinister, such a move put Wolverine on a collision course to revelations that he never believed possible. What if Logan discovers he’s been monitored and manipulated his entire life? What if there are more like him out there because of Weapon X? Maybe they’ll end up discovering that X-23 is just the tip of the iceberg.
In “Old Man Logan,” Mark Millar (writer) and Steve McNiven (art) had Logan’s family killed by the grandchildren of the Hulk, now a super-villain landlord. This caused him to break his vow, claw-up and exact gory revenge on Banner and his incestuous family. With the Hulk rights at Marvel Studios, there isn’t a reason why such a hillbilly horror can’t play out in “Logan.” FOX could use other genetic abnormalities created by Sinister, hidden in secret facilities and unleashed by a version of Pierce, who seems to be very direct and bounty hunter-like.
We’ve yet to see Logan battle true deviants in his movies as directors tend to focus on mutated humans, as was the case with “Origins.” While many harbored hope for Omega Red or Cyber, the sequel decided to focus on the armored Silver Samurai and Logan’s stint in Japan. With that in mind, it’s about time we get less soldiers, less humans and less robots. Remember how the Ultimate-version of Wolverine fared when he faced the Hulk in that famous torso-ripping encounter? That’s the kind of battle we want: more monsters than men, where Logan gets more than he bargained for.
7. Meeting Rogue
In Singer’s first two X-Men movies, one of the best-cultivated relationships was that of Rogue and Wolverine. Since then, we haven’t really seen any importance placed on Rogue, with her “Days of Future Past” scene shockingly cut. “Logan” can provide an opportunity to fix this situation and have the two meet each other again. Would Rogue be too old? Maybe, but with her powers, who knows what she picked up along the way that may have prolonged her life.
What would make such a meeting special is that it would reflect the father-daughter / protector-victim bond being replicated with Logan shielding X-23 from evil the same way he had to when Magneto wanted to use Rogue as a power battery in the 2001 film. Anna Paquin’s performances will forever hold a place in our geek hearts, and even if she doesn’t reprise the role, some sort of closure to bookend her character would be appreciated. Having them say goodbye would be a very sentimental bookend to their friendship. With all the action ahead, such a beautiful moment would be a nice contrast in the story.
6. Wolverine: The Leader
“Days of Future Past” concluded with Logan in the present amid the entire X-Men roster, from Xavier to Cyclops to Jean. This made it a strange decision to go back in time for “Apocalypse,” with a bunch of kids as opposed to finally using that strong, united team against the vicious threat posed by En Sabah Nur. We could have seen a self-sacrificing Wolverine as a general and matured leader, alongside or ahead of Cyclops.
We saw a tease of Wolverine’s leadership in “X-Men: The Last Stand,” but we never got to really see him marshal the troops officially, a la the “Evolution” cartoon or “Wolverine and the X-Men.” He’s always been reactively thrust into the role under circumstances of duress. The team following Logan would be a progressive switch and a retcon that could have worked, given that Wolverine’s always been the flagship in cinema. This is all not mentioning the fact that he’s been a leader on teams like Avengers and X-Force in comics. Hopefully, we get some of that team interaction in flashbacks or memories because it would certainly make the end of “DOFP” feel relevant. It would never be an easy task, being that Logan’s more fun when he’s impulsive, but to see this growth in his finale would be perfect for theaters.
5. Pierce Being More Than A Robot
Whether it be Reavers, Purifiers, Acolytes, the Brotherhood or even The Hellfire Club, as long as there’s a calculating and cerebral mastermind, you’ll have a solid story. There’s still a shroud of mystery to the villainous Pierce (played by Boyd Holbrook of “Narcos”), but we’re hoping that he’s portrayed as the bigoted cyborg he is from the comics. More importantly, he needs to be an antagonist who isn’t highly predictable.
He shouldn’t be bringing adamantium bullets or swords to the fight, as these have been done already in the franchise. If Pierce uses a virus a la “Death of Wolverine” from the comics to negate Logan’s healing factor, that’s fine. However, his end goal needs to be more than just trying to harvest Logan’s abilities or parts. Maybe Pierce, as cliched as it might be, is tied to Logan’s past. Maybe Logan killed his loved ones or relatives in a past fight. When all’s said and done, if Pierce has information that could break Logan mentally, well, that’s the kind of visceral warfare we’d go bonkers for. It could even end up boiling down to him just wanting Logan dead for no reason at all. After all, some men just want to watch the world burn.
4. Pushing The Boundaries of Rated-R
“Deadpool” certainly did this and its reception must have had a hand in paving the way for FOX to green-light an R-rated Wolverine movie. Fans were overjoyed when this news broke because it’s something for which they’ve clamored for ages. Apart from the profanity, it’s the unabashed violence and rage-fueled battles that drive Wolverine’s appeal, because despite the life he’s endured, there lies deep humanity in his soul. We simply enjoy the moments where he vents in the bloodiest of fashions.
This film may be more substance than style, of course, so it might have a limit on cigars and beers being consumed, but we sense that there will be more than enough SNIKT moments to make up for that. Given the story FOX wants to tell here, there’s ample reason for Logan to cut loose because he’s already shown in the past that he’ll never stop sticking up for the greater good. If Logan went on hiatus, he’ll have a lot pent up, and Mangold has already made it clear that this spells bad news for the opposition. This ain’t a gunfight it’s a claw-fight, so prepare for the gory moments. It’ll give Laura all the more reason to bring her savior back into the light.
3. Killing Xavier… Finally
Forget Xavier’s death at the hands of Dark Phoenix in “The Last Stand” and the subsequent retcon to bring Patrick Stewart back in ensuing films. Even Deadpool joked that it doesn’t make sense to analyze FOX’s continuity anymore. If this is indeed Logan’s last rodeo, then consider the Professor expendable, too.
Brett Ratner’s decision to have a corrupted Jean kill both Xavier and Cyclops in one film felt like a trigger pulled too early and it seemed like they wanted collateral damage for the Dark Phoenix saga. In “Logan,” Xavier could already be dead and what we’re seeing is a mental projection from him placed in Logan’s mind, or it could be a villainous trick. When the dust settles, though, it’ll be best to reinforce that school’s out. If Xavier’s to pass on the true mantle of mentor, then it makes no sense for him to be there for X-23’s upbringing. His death could actually wind up being the real test of fortitude and a rite of passage for Logan.
2. Laura Unleashed
Since her inception, X-23 has been a killing machine in the field. After debuting in the “Evolution” cartoon before being transferred to the comics, her role at Marvel has grown beyond that of a young X-Man. She was relatively recently in the Avengers Academy, which helped direct her towards being the “All-New Wolverine” following the death of Logan. However, the role that really sets her apart is in the “X-Force” books. Her prowess in slicing and dicing saw Cyclops ask Logan to use her in their clandestine unit and she showed just how exceptional she was at black-ops work.
In fact, she was so good, it concerned Logan, as he feared she’d relapse into her own version of berserker mode. Sienna Novikov will be playing Laura and we admit that she’s too young to be a teenage soldier, but that doesn’t mean they can’t utilize her the way Hit Girl was portrayed in the “Kick-Ass” movies. It would be most intriguing to see X-23 in battle mode because we wouldn’t expect a youngster to be that versed in the art of war. If she has the same abilities as Logan, as well as the know-how to implement them in battle, expect lethal consequences. It’d also be jarring for a seasoned, grizzled Logan to witness that she could be a ticking time-bomb., just like him.
1. Uncanny X-Force
There have been rumors that Fox could reboot the X-Men universe minus Singer. Given how inconsistent the movies’ continuity has become, that may not be a bad idea. However, that would then beg the question: where would “Deadpool” stand in this revamp? The same query stands for properties in development such as “X-Force” and “New Mutants.” This last Wolverine film does offer potential to build the “Uncanny X-Force” comic route and have a dark, gritty response to “Suicide Squad.” They could easily time-jump to Laura, older and more cynical, in a team of vigilantes such as Domino, Warpath, Wolfsbane and Archangel from “Apocalypse.”
It could also boast the beloved duo of Cable and Deadpool, entrenched in an ensemble that takes matters into their own hands for the greater good. The door could still be left opened for Jackman to bring Logan in later down the line to rein the team back in and cross over with another X-Men property at FOX. So rather than a reset, the studio should look at leaping into the future within this timeline and incorporating the “Deadpool” one. Maybe by then, we’ll get Logan in an official costume, should Jackman decide to make an unlikely return.
Thoughts on our picks? Let us know in the comments what you’d like to see in Jackman’s swan song!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!