After over fifteen years playing the iconic Wolverine, Hugh Jackman will finally hang up his claws in the eagerly-anticipated Logan. With Jackman's long history with the #XMen franchise, many fans are wondering whether Logan will get a sequel. Alas, it may be a long wait before we see Jackman play the cantankerous mutant again — but that doesn't necessarily mean Logan is the last Wolverine movie.
Logan was originally known as Wolverine 3 before the new title was announced, and was always planned to be a conclusion to Jackman's Wolverine trilogy, the collection of films that begun with the critically reviled Origins: Wolverine.
Back in 2015, Hugh Jackman explained why Logan would be his final outing as Wolverine.
"It just felt like it was the right time to do it. And let’s be honest, 17 years. I never thought in a million years it would last, so I’m so grateful to the fans for the opportunity of playing it. I kind of have in my head what we’re going to do in this last one. It just feels like this is the perfect way to go out."
More recently, director James Mangold has responded to questions about Logan officially being the last in the Wolverine franchise, explaining how the movie will conclude the story.
"There’s always a way to tell more stories, but the fact is we worked very hard to craft a tale that makes you feel like like this is the end and that we’ve said what needs to be said."
However, with the introduction of Laura Kinney — Logan's genetically engineered clone known as X-23 — many people are wondering whether she may eventually become the movie canon's new Wolverine... just as she did in the comics.
Passing The Claws: Will Laura Become Wolverine?
X-23 was rumored to appear in the movie back when it was still known as Wolverine 3, and later casting announcements then the trailers confirmed that Laura would have a prominent role in the film. Many took this mean that Fox were setting up another character to become Wolverine, replacing Hugh Jackman as the head of the franchise.
[Updated with spoilers] The movie itself does seem to set this up, as Logan's sacrifice allows Laura and the other mutant children to escape into Canada. This opens the door for a Logan sequel following this young gang of mutants, with Laura potentially taking up the role of Wolverine.
However, Mangold has dismissed the assumption that Laura will become Wolverine in a sequel, revealing that starting another franchise was the last thing on his mind.
"I really wasn’t thinking about [passing the torch] — and I know the studio wasn’t because they didn’t even know who X-23 was when I brought it up."
For Mangold, the most important thing was to tell the story.
"We weren’t thinking about merchandising or starting a new line of movies – what we were thinking about was the interesting themes in this film. In the case of Logan and Laura, [we established] a father-daughter relationship, with a father who’s very loathe to have intimacy or an emotional connection with almost anyone. There’s a lot of interpersonal drama that truly drives the feature."
While we all love a franchise to follow, Mangold's vision for Logan is far more interesting than a set-up for infinite sequels. Logan is a character and relationship-driven movie, and by lowering the stakes from saving the world to saving one little girl, Mangold created a more suspenseful — and more compelling — drama.
But of course, the Wolverine movies are an offshoot of the X-Men franchise, which Wolverine has been a part of since the very beginning. Even if Hugh Jackman really isn't going to appear in any more X-Men movies ever, the door is always open for Laura Kinney to team up with her fellow mutants. As Logan is set in 2024 — when the X-Men have disbanded and mutants are almost extinct — some serious timeline shenanigans would have to take place in order for Laura to join the superhero team... but it's not like that's stopped the franchise before!
It seems that if Logan were to get a sequel, it would probably follow Laura's continued adventures with the other young mutants — which would certainly make for a intriguing narrative, as there are a ton of unanswered questions from the movie. Can the forced mutant sterility ever be overcome? Will Laura and the young mutants become the much-anticipated X-Force?
For the time being though, Logan is officially the last film in the Wolverine franchise, and it's a fitting end for the X-Men franchise's longest running character.