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Logan Director Explains Why He Didn’t Film The Westchester Incident

by  in Movie News Comment

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for “Logan,” in theaters now.

Since the release of the third and final chapter in Fox’s trilogy of standalone Wolverine movies, we’ve learned of cameos that almost took place and seen comic book art that was almost used. Now, “Logan” director James Mangold has revealed that the tragic Westchester incident involving Professor X was yet another facet of the film that almost made it to the big screen.

RELATED: Why Logan Cut Xavier’s Tragic Backstory

In an interview with ComingSoon.net, Mangold was asked if he ever considered showing the scene in which Professor X inadvertently kills a number of innocent people, including members of the X-Men, during one of his telepathically-enhanced seizures in Westchester, NY. “Yeah, I wrote that scene,” Mangold replied. “I wrote it, and at one point, it was even the first scene in the movie.”

Asked if the scene didn’t make the cut because it was simply too traumatic, Mangold elaborated, “It also made the movie about that. It was really interesting. It suddenly made the movie about X-Men dying, as opposed to allowing the movie to be a kind of unwinding onion, like allowing you to kind of enter the story and go, ‘Where is this going?’ It was so large and loomed so large, and I felt like it also was still falling into the formula of the movies, with the big opener, that is setting up the mythology first. I thought, ‘What if we do an opener that leans into character first? Actually underplay those things?’ Let them just feel like it’s more like a — what’s that?… A normal thing, like it’s happened. And instead of underlining it, yeah. Just let it live in the background of all these characters.”

The Westchester incident is a similar to one of the plot points of “Old Man Logan,” the comic story that “Logan” is loosely based on. In the comic, Logan inadvertently slaughters many of his friends and teammates when the villain Mysterio manipulates him into believing they’re all his enemies.

Directed by James Mangold, “Logan” is set in the near future, years after the epilogue of 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” In it, a weary Logan, whose healing factor is failing, cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.

Now in theaters nationwide, “Logan” stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Dafne Keen and Stephen Merchant.

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