As we know, Logan tells the story of a dark future where mutants are extinct, and a world-weary Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is caring for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) in a hide-out on the Mexican border. But before long, their lives are up-ended by the arrival of a young and mysterious mutant (Dafne Keen).
Powerful, bittersweet and a must-see for X-Men and superhero fans, Logan tells a rich and visceral tale about our most beloved Canadian character with claws. So whether you're staring into space after seeing the movie (*sobs*) or else entering into a beserker rage because you haven't yet had chance to watch it, check out these eleven bits of trivia that you may never knew you never knew!
1. The Release Date is Part of a Devious Design
The release dates of modern blockbuster movies don't seem to be as restricted to the summer and winter seasons as they once were. Case in point: Logan was released on Friday March 3rd 2017, well before the start of the tent pole releases in May/June.
Sure, 20th Century Fox may have put it here simply because they don't expect Logan to make as much money as the other #XMen movies (what with that R-Rating and all). But is there another, nerdier reason for this particular release date?
A Friday is obviously there to grab the weekend crowds, but opening on the third day of the third month? The number three is significant. Could these two threes be a reference to the three claws on Logan’s two hands, or that fact it's Logan's third solo outing? The cynic in me says "coincidence," but the fan in me says "I think not!"
2. The Comics Play A Bigger Part Than You Previously Realized
Apart from the origin of X-23, Logan also loosely adapts Mark Millar's famous short series Old Man Logan, which similarly saw an aged Wolverine in a dystopian setting. With all of the rights issues between Marvel and Fox, you'd have expected Millar's run to have a very rough influence on the movie, certainly after the makers stated that they only took the "germ of the idea" for their script.
However, on closer inspection, Logan subtly borrows more from the graphic novels than we initially thought. Firstly, both stories heavily borrow from Westerns to enhance their plots. Old Man Logan heavily references Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, with Wolverine even resembling the iconic actor himself. Additionally, Logan mimics Shane's story line of a mysterious man redeeming himself through the admiration of a young child.
Old Man Logan is also a road-set story, traversing from the East Coast of America to the West and then back again, as opposed to the movie's trip from the Mexican Border up to the Canadian Border. Both stories also see him protecting his kin, and being accompanied by a humorous yet senile superhero (switch Professor X for #Hawkeye) as he grapples with the nature of his heroism, and "The Wolverine" himself.
Comic book fans love their favorite story lines being adapted, and they're sure to love Logan even more because of its adherence to the source material.
3. That's So Meta Jack-Man!
Wolverine discovers that Laura is in possession of several comic books at one point in Logan, and they are a nice meta-textual touch. They're a nice little in-joke to fans, and a reference to the origins of these characters, but they also serve a larger purpose in the story.
Prior to the events of Logan, it seems that the X-Men were famous, and revered enough to have their own fandom. But according to Hugh Jackman, the comics are only part of Logan's re-positioning of the X-Men universe; in fact, he suggests that all of the previous X-Men movies are "propaganda," and that they too, were made & exist within the world of Logan.
If this is true, the X-Men universe as we know it is merely propaganda with the 'real' universe of Logan...Wow.
4. A Withering Wolverine
The X-Men series is renowned for its increasingly complex inter-movie plot lines, but even with all the time-travel shenanigans messing up the chronology of Wolverine's past, the character is still getting on in his years.
He can still pop the claws, and still looks like a guy in his mid-fifties or sixties, but by the setting of Logan, Wolverine's bicentennial birthday is quickly creeping up on him!
Old Man Logan indeed.
5. Jackman's Metallic Malady
Another of Logan's ailments is the slow but steady advancement of his adamantium poisoning. The comics have explored a similar story line on several occasions, but the inclusion of this illness is actually rooted in real life.
In his interview with Empire, Hugh Jackman recollected that:
"I had high mercury levels from eating tins of tuna...[I suffered from] tiredness...joint pain... My doctor said, 'You're meant to be five,' whatever that number means, and I was at 37."
The addition of Jackman's illness to the story and his performance is a neat and very cool detail, and it makes a lot of sense in the story line. Indeed, the man himself saw the potent power in its irony:
"I loved the metaphor of his weapon being the thing that's killing him, on every level."
So the substance that allows him to be the Wolverine, and end people's lives more effectively, is now the thing that's slowly finishing him. Heavy stuff, Doc.
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6. The Sinister Shenanigans of Logan's Foes
The internet sure was buzzing after that X-Men: Apocalypse post credits scene, where it was revealed that the Essex Corporation had got their hands on Wolverine's DNA. After all its owner Nathaniel Essex is none other that the X-Men villain Mr Sinister. But wait, wasn't he supposed to be the main villain of Logan? Where the hell was he?
Funnily enough, he was confirmed to feature in the film before the Logan we now know and love began to take shape. No matter how much Bryan Cranston lobbied for the role, director James Mangold couldn't envision the more outlandish elements of Mr Sinister fitting in with the rest of the movie.
Though he might not be meeting Wolverine any time soon, #BryanSinger has stated that Sinister will appear in the new #XMen movies, and that the stories will bridge the gap between the end credits scene and the events of Logan.
7. Two of the Cast Members Have Vanquished Vampires
Marvel have no plans to see the X-Men take on Nosferatu (as far as we know), but two of Logan's principal players have also faced off against these dark, fantastical fiends. Zander Rice is played by Richard E. Grant, who assisted Anthony Hopkins's Van Helsing as Dr. Jack Seward in the 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Coincidently, Hugh Jackman faced off against the iconic count as Van Helsing himself in the 2004 movie Van Helsing.
Could we see Wolverine vs Vampires in the new Van Helsing reboot? Probably not, but hey, we can dream.
8. The Film Features Foul-Mouthed Mutants Both On and Away From the Camera
She may be small and sweet in real life, but on set Spanish actress Dafne Keen was dropping the kind of cuss words that would make her fictional daddy proud.
Logan finds our hero in a not-so-accommodating mood, and he's rather short-tempered with his new charge. After several takes of a particular scene where Wolverine loses his temper with Laura, #HughJackman politely apologized to Keen’s mother, who had come on set to watch her daughter work. Jackman was taken aback when Keen's mother readily forgave him; Ms. Keen later revealed that Dafne had got him back by calling him a "c*nt" in Spanish.
Out of the mouths of babes, eh?
9. Logan and Laura Weren't the Only Living Weapons On Set
There are many superbly subtle Easter Eggs and cameos that have been threaded into the fabric of Logan, but here's one that may have escaped your notice. Remember that unfortunate member of Donald Pierce's (#BoydHolbrook) Reavers who comes between Laura and her cereal? The guy who gets his handcuffs stolen and his head cut off?
It turns out that he is played by Krzysztof Soszynski, a retired yet no-less formidable mixed martial artist known as "The Polish Experiment," who won 26 out of his 39 matches and is now forging a career in the movies. He may be good in the ring, but I'm sure he'll now know not to cross a mutant again!
10. Hugh Jackman Really Was Struggling During His Sprint Through the Woodlands
The stakes begin to rise through the course of Logan, and one particular sequence truly turns up the tension when Donald Pierce's Reavers race to close in on their prey; however, the hunters soon become the hunted when a woozy #Wolverine joins the fray. The character's fatigue & failing health are etched in Hugh Jackman's brilliantly detailed performance, but his stumbling heroics are far more authentic than we first realized.
Logan's filmmakers needed multiple takes of the character sprinting through the trees and up the large hills to slash at evil-doers. This repetition wouldn't be easy for even the fittest of people, and becomes much more difficult when you consider they were filming at 9,000 feet above sea level!
As such, the height and terrain of the shoot began to take their toll on the accomplished actor. After falling over several times, the second-unit director called an end to the filming, to which Jackman protested that he'd only tripped; surely this was a fuss over nothing? The director replied:
"You tripped on the take before. You fainted on this one."
Fainting on set? Wow, talk about commitment to the role!
11. Wolverine Truly Is the Master of Slicing and Dicing
Bar The Wolverine's R-rated Unleashed Cut, the violence in Hugh Jackman's mutant-themed movies has always been tame, to appeal to family audiences. Be that as it may, his character has has still got the chance to take down plenty of bad guys. Certainly, according to the eagle-eyed viewers at Empire, Wolverine has personally killed 105 people onscreen throughout his movie career.
Sure, he may not have the same kill-counts as Captain America or Iron Man, but it's still not advisable to brandish a gun or knife near Wolvie on a bad day. And heck, these numbers don't even factor in the pain and punishment that he deals out in Logan, and that's bound to be a lot...
So there you have it! All great movies have fun facts and stories from their production, and Logan is no different! As Hugh Jackman's and #PatrickStewart's last X-Men movie, their iterations of ol' Canucklehead and "Wheels" are going to be missed going forward. I think I may watch that trailer again just to bask in their greatness.
But what do you think of Logan? Got any other bits of trivia that we missed out on? Head to the comments and let us know!