Logan is a certified hit, not only at the box office, but also with critics. The dark R-rated tale was the perfect end to Hugh Jackman & Patrick Stewart’s 17-year run as Wolverine & Professor Charles Xavier respectively. The film is phenomenal, but as with most films in the X-Men franchise, there are some continuity errors that need to be addressed.
The presence of Stephen Merchant as Caliban in #Logan was confusing to some fans, partly due to the fact that the character was played by Tómas Lemarquis in the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse. Caliban has never appeared in any #XMen film prior to 2016, and it seemed strange that the mutant would appear in two consecutive X-Men films. Thankfully, James Mangold recently shed some light as to why Caliban is in both films, and the reason is almost exactly what you would expect from Fox.
James Mangold Speaks About Caliban
In a recent interview with Nerdist, James Mangold was asked about Caliban appearing in both Logan and X-Men: Apocalypse. His answer is very honest, and not too surprising given the continuity problems in the X-Men film universe:
“It’s a funny, messy story of how so often these things are not as coordinated as everyone thinks. I actually had written him into our movie, and they didn’t know [he was] in Apocalypse, and then they kind of wrote it in their movie, and they cast someone in their movie and I had not seen it and was working away on mine.”
He went on to speak about casting Stephen Merchant as Caliban, and the energy he wanted the character to bring to the film:
“I just wanted to see this particular energy that we wrote, so I cast for what we were looking for, and I love Stephen, I’m a huge fan of his.”
Two Calibans? No Problem
James Mangold’s explanation is not surprising, given the lackadaisical approach Fox has towards maintaining a cohesive continuity in the X-Men franchise. The franchise has always had huge holes in its timeline, and Fox is well aware of this. As we saw in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fox attempted to right the ship by re-setting the timeline, and essentially writing out the first three X-Men movies — but even this new timeline is riddled with oddities and inconsistencies.
Mangold only confirmed what we already knew: that the people behind different X-Men films have very little communication with each other. Ideally, Bryan Singer and James Mangold would have been comparing notes, and would have addressed any issues with continuity during pre-production. Alas, that is not how Fox does things.
Want to read more about Logan? Check out:
- Forget Wolverine, 'Logan' Is Actually The Perfect Conclusion To Professor X's Story
- The Brutal Deleted Scene That Revealed Jean Grey's Fate In The Future Was Too Bleak Even For 'Logan'
- X-24 Gave 'Logan' The Symbolic Ending Needed For Hugh Jackman's Farewell
Like it or not, Fox’s X-Men universe is not a cinematic universe per se, but instead is a series of films that revolve around the same characters. Each time a new film is made, the studio would rather focus on telling the story that needs to be told than meticulously lining up all the details from the past films. Because of this approach, we come across issues like Logan and X-Men: Apocalypse both using Caliban in ways that are not at all connected.
When it comes down to it, the fact that Singer and Mangold both used different versions of Caliban really doesn’t matter. In Mangold’s favor, the success of Logan and Stephen Merchant’s portrayal of Caliban have made Merchant's take on the character much better known than the 2016 version. We're glad James Mangold was given the freedom to use the characters he wanted in Logan, because the result was fantastic. Make sure you check out Logan in theaters now, if you haven’t already!
Are you surprised at the reason Caliban appeared in both 'Logan' and 'X-Men: Apocalypse'?