A New World, A New Logan
One of my most anticipated movies of 2017 is Logan. The last movie featuring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine truly looks like it could be the type of Superhero movie that elevates the genre, like The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, and The Avengers have done. It has a very unique mood and tone judging by the trailers, and in all honesty, I think it could even get nominated for some awards when the time comes.
However, there is one weird thing that sticks out with Logan, and it has to do with the ever-changing timeline of Fox’s franchise.
Recently James Mangold, the director behind Logan, stated that this upcoming film takes place in an alternate universe that is separate from the previous X-Men films. This was revealed thanks to a moment in the newest trailer where Logan holds up a comic book featuring himself and the other members of the X-Men, causing him to state, “this is the real world, people die”. Since there’s been no mention of the X-Men being merchandised in any other fox film, this is one of the examples Mangold gives. Naturally this caused a lot of head scratching from some fans, myself included, over why we need another alternate history in a movie franchise that’s already filled with too many of them.
Think about the entire X-Men franchise as a whole. The main trilogy (X-Men to X-Men: The Last Stand) works on its own just fine. Same when you put X-Men Origins: Wolverine in the mix as the prequel to the original three movies. But now you throw X-Men: First Class into the mix, which contradicts some events and characters in Origins (Emma Frost and the Charles Xavier cameo being the big ones). But, you can make the argument that First Class is a reboot of the franchise….until Days of Future Past, which combined both X-Men casts and made sure you knew of it by saying that First Class is a part of the original timeline. Oooookay. That takes a little work, but if you pretend that Origins didn’t happen (no one will blame you there), then you’re still good.
That is, until you watch Apocalypse, which also contradicts events that happened at the end of the past storyline of Days of Future Past, where we saw Mystique (in disguise as Stryker) take Wolverine’s unconscious body and seemingly kick start the Weapon X project. But in Apocalypse our band of mutants end up at the Weapon X facility, and Mystique makes no reference to Wolverine being there at all, even when he looks right at them. Oh yeah, there’s also The Wolverine to throw in between First Class and Days of Future Past, which had Logan lose the adamantium in his claws, until he got them back at some point before DOFP.
Whew, that was a lot to get through. And you know what? After typing all that out and thinking about it, maybe setting Logan in a different timeline isn’t such a bad idea after all. The original Old Man Logan story that this is loosely based on is from an alternate universe, and if placing this movie in a world where it doesn’t have to try and explain and fit in with the previous movies makes for a stronger end product, I’m all for it. Plus it allows future filmmakers the ability to use X-23 if they want to, as she won’t be tied to a specific time frame of the franchise, a problem they ran into by including Gambit in X-Men Origins, a film that took place primarily in the 1970’s.
As great as it is having Marvel Studios and WB connect their movies together, it can be a little exhausting trying to keep up sometimes. And while I don’t understand Fox’s timeline of events for the X-Men franchise, maybe all of these movies are ALL in their own timeline and no one noticed until now. Maybe sometimes things don’t have to connect all together if the story is good enough. That’s what I’m hoping for when Logan opens up in March. If any person deserves a fantastic final outing as a superhero, it’s Hugh Jackman.