By now, everyone knows that Logan is Hugh Jackman’s last go-round as Wolverine. It’s tough to see him go — he’s arguably the protagonist of the original X-Men trilogy and was always a welcome presence in the new crop of movies, but he’s a big star now, and Logan is a tone-perfect way to round out his career as that character. Now, the question becomes: who, if anyone, will take his place? The X-Men series will still continue for at least one more movie, and there are a number of spinoffs in the works, so Wolverine will have to reappear somehow, right?
Logan works on many levels, mostly as a swan song for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. We’ve known for ages that this would be his last run playing the character, and Logan gives him an appropriately melancholy, moving send-off. But, had Marvel and 20th Century Fox been able to reach some kind of deal before Jackman made the decision not to sign on for another movie after this one, his Wolverine might have stuck around.
The most jarring line in the new trailer for James Mangold’s increasingly buzzy Wolverine spinoff Logan comes when the gruff mutant informs his young charge, “This is the real world. People die.” He tells her this after seeing one of her vintage X-Men comic books, and informing her that the team’s actual exploits bear little resemblance to what’s on the page. It all sends a clear message: this is a film unlike the solo Wolverine pictures that came before it, distinctive both in its high stakes and self-awareness. It’s a sharply written moment, but the new clip doesn’t linger on it for too long before getting to the good stuff — in this instance, a young girl cutting off an adult man’s hands.
Logan looks like no other superhero movie we’ve ever seen before, and Hugh Jackman and James Mangold have been especially plugging its desolate, dingy look. They’ve given us image after image, all of which have kept this really great post-apocalyptic western look. Today, They’ve given us one more in preparation for tomorrow’s new trailer, which Jackman seems very excited about.
Every new image from the upcoming Logan seems to work as hard as it can to drive the same point home: THIS MOVIE WILL BE DARK AND GRITTY. This superhero movie is not like other superhero movies, because of death and seriousness and a Children of Men-esque color palette. While the constant reminders are getting a little old, it’s still pretty exciting that a superhero movie featuring a character as popular as Wolverine is choosing to go a different route, opting for realism (as much as it can, that is) and emotion rather than becoming a special effects soup. The new Logan poster continues the trend with a design that’s all the more intense for its simplicity.
It’s tougher than it seems for a superhero movie to get an R rating. These days, most of them fall somewhere around the PG-13 spectrum, which allows teen audiences easy access to the comic book movies usually geared toward them, as well as families to bring the smaller kids whose favorite toy is their oversize talking Hulk hands. But Logan is a superhero movie of a different sort, so it needs a rating that puts it in a different category from the other X-Men movies. To achieve that R rating, probably through violence and language, the star Hugh Jackman apparently took a pay cut so that the film could get there.