Fans of Hugh Jackman's much beloved X-Men character Wolverine received a bittersweet surprise this morning when 20th Century Fox released the final trailer for what's been billed as the actor's farewell to the role, Logan. While eschewing the somber Johnny Cash soundtrack of the popular first trailer, the preview maintains the brutal, world weary tone that have left many wondering if the hero will be left standing by the end of his swan song. Additionally the film does offer some intriguing clues on what to expect when the film hits theaters on March 3rd.
Do NOT Bring the Kids
After last years surprise blockbuster Deadpool proved to be a record-breaking success for Fox despite an R rating, the studio gave the ok for Logan to also intensify it's language and violence for this final film. And from the looks of this trailer, director James Mangold seems to be enjoying this looser leash, dropping several F-bombs (including one from Patrick Stewart's once saintly-seeming Professor X) and intense fight sequences. While it's not much footage to go off of, the trailer definitely leaves the impression the impression this Wolverine will skew more faithfully to the comic's more adult interpretation of the character. And speaking off the comics…
X-Men Comics exist in this movie
Look, keeping track of the timelines of the X-Men film franchise is not for the faint of heart. Between the original trilogy, the Wolverine trilogy, the prequel trilogy (including the time-traveling crossover Days of Future Past) and the X-Men adjacent exploits of Deadpool, it's hard to pinpoint exactly where Logan will fit within the franchise. But one interesting point in the trailer is a scene of Logan looking at and commenting on what appears to be a classic X-Men comic book. Glancing at the Wolverine's iconic comic book representation (including the famous yellow and black costume), the character offers "Maybe a quarter of it happened, and not like this." Will the new interpretation take place in a world where the events of the prior X-Men films are mythologized in comic form or is the film just taking another page out of Deadpool's playbook by offering some moments of self-awareness? I can't say for certain, but it certainly seems like new and intriguing direction to take the film's universe.
Is X-23 the future of the X-Men franchise?
Shown beating up guys three times her size, the trailer introduces Dafne Keen's character Laura Kinney as a major presence in the film. The character's most well known for comic book role as X-23, a female clone of Wolverine, complete with his adamantium claws and regenerative healing abilities. In the comics, the character famously took over the mantle of "The Wolverine" and with Jackman's intentions to leave the character behind, might Fox be looking to plant the seeds in this film for X-23 to become a successor for Jackman's Wolverine? There's certainly reason to be excited about this idea, especially given the still limited amounts of female superhero protagonists, but also questions as to whether they'd need an adult version of the role and who might play her.
Will we finally see a decent, non-Magneto villain?
There are a lot of things to admire about the X-Men franchise, but one of the weaker elements has been its failure to create film antagonists to stand up to Wolverine and the X-Men besides Magneto. Despite employing top-tier actors like Peter Dinklage, Oscar Isaac, and Liev Schreiber, all of these villains pale in comparison to the interpretations of arch-nemesis Magneto (as played by Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender). Yet, Boyd Holbrook's character, Donald Pierce has an intriguing quality from both this trailer and the one released in November. Not much is known about him besides the fact that he has a mechanical arm, is hunting X-23 and seems to possess a decent amount of swagger. Still, not knowing the role extent Holbrook's Pierce will be featured, especially with us getting our first glimpse of Richard E Grant's sinister looking Dr. Zander Rice, one can hope one or both of them will have what it takes to give Wolverine one last decent fight.
Will Professor X and/or Wolverine make it out alive?
As mentioned earlier, the somber tone of the trailer mixed with the behind the scenes factors definitely leaves more doubts about its characters surviving than most other superhero properties. Given the haggard looking state of Stewart's now 90-year old Professor X and the studios ability to call upon James McAvoy to play the mentor's younger-self it certainly is plausible we will see the demise of Stewart's iteration of the character. The same questions arise for Jackman's Wolverine who despite scenes featuring scenes of the hero wounded also offer glimpses of him joyfully sitting around a table, experiencing what the Professor describes as "home." Still, given the tortured, loner history of the character, it's hard to say how much hope we should have for a happy ending.
With all these questions surrounding Logan, hopefully the film will give us a satisfying conclusion to Jackman's contributions to the franchise that lives up to it's exciting trailers.