Logan has been heavily promoted as the swan song of Hugh Jackman’s now-iconic Wolverine, and the character himself mirrors this. By the time of the movie, the X-Men have disbanded, and our favorite, clawed Canadian is no longer the hero he once was. So where and when does this movie take place?
Back when they weren’t producing prequels or tampering with timelines, the X-Men movies commonly started with some added text revealing that they took place in “The Not Too Distant Future.” Certainly, Logan follows this rule, taking place only decade or so from now (2029 to be precise), but that hasn’t stopped the main characters from aging quite dramatically. Indeed, Wolverine is covered in scars and graying hair, and Professor X (Patrick Stewart) is even worse for wear.
We discover that Charles has reached an impressive milestone in a hilarious fashion (“I’m f*cking ninety!”). However #Wolverine’s age goes conspicuously unmentioned...so just how old is the moody mutant by the time of Logan?
Read on to find out!
Wolverine's Early Years
Ever anomic and enigmatic, Wolverine has long been a character who his fellow teammates have found hard to pin down, both literally, and in terms of his lifespan. Along with his cut-through-anything-claws, he has enhanced strength, tracking skills, and, in the words of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) in the first #XMen movie:
“... uncharted regenerative capabilities, which enables him to heal rapidly. It also makes his age impossible to determine. He could very well be older than you, Professor.”
And, as we know, Jean’s hypothesis is correct, even in the graphic novels. Though there are many, many alternate versions of Wolverine in the comics, his early beginnings were definitively detailed in the imaginatively named series Origin, which featured a young James Howlett discovering his powers in the late nineteenth century.
20th Century Fox hews closely to this story line in their movies, albeit in a very brief fashion. X-Men Origins: Wolverine shows our hero and his half brother Sabretooth (Liev Schriber) fighting in the American Civil War (1861-65), among many other conflicts, in an opening sequence that is beloved by many fans. It also features the manifestation of Logan’s powers in the 1845 prologue; pretty straightforward stuff so far, right?
Well, unfortunately with these movies, timelines just aren't that simple. The series is notoriously riddled with contradictions, such as the multiple Bolivar Trasks (played by Bill Duke & #PeterDinklage), the two contrasting Moira McTaggerts (Olivia Williams & #RoseByrne) and the strange case of the dead-then-not-dead Professor X.
So, do the ever-changing plots affect Wolverine's age?
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So Just How Old is Wolverine in Logan?
The reboot of Days of Future Past may have muddled some plot threads, such as when exactly Weapon X experiments on Wolverine, but thankfully his origins in...ahem, Origins, remain untouched. Logan's tragic beginnings predate Days of Future Past by over a century, and the temporal tampering in that movie only affects what happened after 1973, which is quite a relief really. However, we still have to do a little bit of guesswork.
In the Origins scene where his claws are first popped, there’s no mention of how old little James Howlett is. The comics and movies have long-established that mutant powers usually manifest at puberty, which for guys begins around the age of 12. If we say that James is roughly 13 in this scene, just to ensure he’s in that formative age range, that puts his birth year as 1832.
Sure, this means that he's in his thirties in the Civil War scenes, and Jackman may look a little old to be playing a thirty-something Wolverine here, but hey, it is a movie after all. We can chalk that up to that wonderful healing factor, if needs must.
Going by 1832 as a start date, this means that by the time of Logan in 2029, our boy Wolverine is a whopping 197 years old! And in Logan, these many years are undoubtedly weighing heavily upon him.
"Logan, You Still Have Time."
If it were any other man who was miraculously nearing his two-hundredth birthday, you'd expect them to be taking it easy, putting their feet up and cherishing whatever time they had left. As we find out, that's not the case with Ol' Canucklehead.
Logan finds an aging Wolverine nursing an ailing Professor X (a superb #PatrickStewart) and a failing healing factor, which is causing him to succumb to his many injuries. And this movie features personal demons aplenty. It's a pensive and powerful treatment of the very flawed Wolverine, and #HughJackman's last outing is sure to have other studios sit up and take notice. They should, not only due to his stunning performance, but due to director James Mangold's fantastic character work.
Of course, that doesn't mean that it's all drama! We are also treated to some of the most colorful carnage ever included in a superhero movie; but will old man Logan prevail against Pierce (#BoydHolbrook) and the Reavers?
You'll have to watch the movie to find out!