After months of anticipation, the trailer for Logan (notably not titled Wolverine 3) dropped yesterday, and it's pretty impressive. Inspired by the dark, twisted, and undeniably bonkers Marvel comic Old Man Logan, the third Wolverine movie finds our hero in the not-too-distant future, a grim world that looks almost post-apocalyptic. Charles Xavier will join Logan on his quest to protect the young and vulnerable Laura Kinney, his genetically engineered female clone.
But aside from these mutants, it seems as though mutantkind is being wiped out, one way or another, come 2024.
This isn't just an intriguing mystery, but a vicious plot twist, considering that Days of Future Past saw Wolverine do everything he could to prevent this fate from befalling mutantkind.
No More Mutants
With the X-Men franchise littered with alternate timelines, director James Mangold stepped into the Empire offices to clear up possible misconceptions — and yes, Logan is set after the conclusion of Days of Future Past, meaning it exists in the same timeline as Apocalypse and Deadpool.
"What happens when you’re in retirement and that career is over? The really interesting thing to me, or a place to dig that hadn’t been dug, was the idea of mutants when they’re no longer useful to the world, or even sure if they can do what they used to do. Their powers are diminished like all of ours are by age."
Logan presents us with a very different Wolverine, one that is haggard and well beyond world-weary, his faltering healing abilities leaving him in a state of constant chronic pain. Worse than that though, must be his sense of guilt. After all, he created this timeline, and therefore he is responsible for the lack of mutants.
Nothing has been officially confirmed, but a leaked synopsis and reports from The Wrap have established some key plot points. It seems that mutants have not been totally eradicated, but are slowly becoming extinct thanks to low birth rates — the cause of which is unknown, but foul play is expected from the Essex Corporation. Which shouldn't really come as a surprise, because Nathanial Essex's entrance was teased in the X-Men: Apocalypse post-credits scene.
From Frying Pan To Fire
This connects neatly with the story of X-23 — depending on some tweaking to her comic book origin — as this young mutant girl will come to represent the hope for mutant future.
It looks like little Laura Kinney may become a walking reminder to Logan of his guilt, symbolizing his role in establishing this timeline, while her status as his clone could also represent his hope for redemption.
What we don't know yet is if Wolverine's role in creating this timeline will play into the plot of Logan, but this could make for an interesting and complex narrative. Naturally, Logan will feel some guilt for the creation — and torture — of X-23, considering it was his role in the Weapon X program that started all this off.
But had he not traveled back in time to prevent Mystique from killing Trask in Days of Future Past, this timeline would not exist at all. Granted, the reason he did that was to prevent mutants from being wiped out at the hands of Trask's Sentinels, but Logan's role in reseting the timeline makes him responsible — and he may have resigned mutants to a similar dark fate.
Of course, Xavier is far from blameless, and considering the situation we can't fault Wolverine for acting the way he did. But there's a poignant irony presented in Logan that leads us to question the nature of determination and destiny. Is there any way the mutants can survive this, or any timeline? Or are they doomed to extinction, falling prey to villainy or genetics?
Considering the X-Men are a vital franchise for Fox — and with Laura Kinney they've got a tailor-made character to take up the role of Wolverine when Hugh Jackman steps down — it seems unlikely that we'll see the last of the mutants. But whatever happens, it looks like mutants won't have an easy time of it — and neither will Logan.
Tell us in the comments: Do you think Logan is responsible for the fate of mutantkind?