Logan is quite possibly the most harrowing X-men film to date. It traded off tight superhero suits and fantastical action sequences for a raw, gripping noir drama— spliced with a good dose of hyper-violence, of course.
(Warning: Logan spoilers ahead)
But as tragic as Logan was, it was originally intended to contain a scene that would have inevitably set an even darker tone for Wolverine's last film. While it's known that Professor X decimated almost the entire mutant population during one of his telepathic seizures, this was only revealed with a small hint during a radio news report that can be heard in the background of one scene. However, James Mangold revealed to IGN that his original script planned to show this mutant massacre in full at the very start of the film.
Why Mangold Scrapped That Intense Scene
As we know, Logan opens with protagonist Logan waking up in the back of his car to discover a bunch of thugs trying to steal his wheels. A bloody confrontation ensues, and Logan comes out of the fight victorious but weary; a sign of his aging body.
It was certainly an unexpected reintroduction to the former superhero, and tragic in its own way. But was it a better choice than what was originally scripted?
Mangold confessed that opting for his original version of the script, which begun with a mass X-Men death, would have explained in no uncertain terms exactly who'd survived Charles's episode. However, he also felt that it ultimately would have steered the entire film in the opposite direction to where he wanted to focus:
"It made the movie about the X-Men, instead of being about Logan and Charles. And irrevocably, when you read the script opening that way, it became about this other tragedy, as opposed to that tragedy being something hovering like a shadow in the background for these characters."
What About That Jean Grey Scene?
The release of Logan on Blu-Ray has revealed a number of deleted scenes from the film, including one conversation that makes reference to the X-Men universe's multiple timelines.
During one of his "senior moments" at the Munson family's dinner table, Charles reveals that Logan killed Jean Grey. This is a reference to the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, where Logan is forced to kill Jean. The new timeline has since made that incident non-existent, and we can only assume she was wiped out during Charles' seizure — though the telepath most likely knows about the first incident through accessing #Logan's intact memories.
So did Mangold cut that scene simply to avoid confusion over the very complex #XMen timeline? Apparently not. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mangold explains his reasoning for omitting it in the director's commentary of the Blu-Ray:
"I felt it really brought the emotion down and dark in a moment when things were feeling very hopeful at this house. This was something we had written only a part of and then improvised. I like the moment in isolation a lot, but when cut into the movie it had a powerful effect of damping that moment and kind of making the Munson family seem a little strange for keeping them there."
Simply put, Mangold felt it was too much of a downer for what was intended to be a heartwarming moment for Logan and his (fake) family. The Munson's hospitality was a rare reprieve from their intense situation, and casually dropping in Jean's murder would have completely changed the mood.
Do you think Logan should have included those scenes in the final cut?