The latest, and probably final, film in the Wolverine trilogy looks to be an interesting and welcome change of pace — the trailer for #Logan introduced us to a bleak future, in which our eponymous and ever-suffering hero embarks upon a mission to protect the young mutant Laura, joined by an aging Charles Xavier.
More character driven than the other #XMen films, Logan is almost post-apocalyptic — but if a world ended, it seems to have been the world of mutants.
At the beginning of the trailer, Logan states unequivocally that mutants are "gone", but how or why that happened is still a mystery. Was this a mass extinction event, or did the mutants slowly die off? Although the release date for Logan is still far away, we may already have an answer to some of these questions, if leaks and rumors are to be believed.
Before the trailer dropped, entertainment news website and rumor-mill-churner The Wrap teased some important information via sources within the Logan production. They claimed that the mutants did not all die at once, but are rather in the process of dying out, and no-one knows why. Come 2024, the year Logan is supposedly set, there are barely any mutants left.
The Wrap also specified that X-23 — Laura Kinney, Logan's female clone who featured in the trailer — is the product of a government program entitled "Transigen", which turns mutant children into weapons. If mutants are in severe decline, it would seem as though "Transigen" is hunting down the remaining children born with mutations in order to keep this program going.
However, if Logan sticks to the comic canon, it's possible that these children are not naturally born, but clones bred within the program — with X-23 being the clone of Weapon X. And that's how we get to the person behind the mutant extinction.
A Sinister Scheme
It wouldn't be a Marvel movie without hints from post-credits scenes, and it looks like that mysterious figure from the end of X-Men: Apocalypse may play a key role in Logan.
In this scene, a man retrieves one of the final phials of Wolverine's blood from the wreckage of Akali Lake. He places it in a briefcase stamped with the logo of the Essex Corporation, leading fans to quickly identify the man (or the man behind this mission) as Nathanial Essex a.k.a. Mister Sinister. This villain is responsible for some pretty horrific events in the comics such as the massacre of the Morlocks, as well as creating a clone of Jean Grey (Madeline Pryor) and her time-traveling son, Cable.
Clearly, this character's introduction to the X-Men movie franchise will have huge repercussions. And according to this leaked summary of Logan, we're already seeing the effects of Sinister's schemes.
Set in the future, Logan and Professor Charles Xavier must cope with the loss of the X-Men when a corporation led by Nathaniel Essex is destroying the world leaving it to destruction, with Logan's healing abilities slowly fading away and Xavier's Alzheimer's forcing him to forget. Logan must defeat Nathaniel Essex with the help of a young girl named Laura Kinney, a female clone of Wolverine.
This summary comes to us via IMdB, and the source given is "Twentieth Century Fox Films". Although this IMdB account seems to have been created solely to post this summary, it's entirely possible that the plot points are accurate. Published long before the trailer was released, many of the details in the summary — Logan's deterioating healing ability, Laura's appearance in the film — have since been officially confirmed.
Why Would Sinister Sterilize Mutants?
So here's the theory: Mister Sinister is using genetic manipulation to slowly sterilize mutants, while using the "Transigen" program to build his own mutant army. This would connect X-23 to the mystery of why the mutants are disappearing, lining up with the hint from Apocalypse and echoing back to the initial Weapon X program, allowing the Wolverine trilogy to come full circle.
With the vicious and mutant-hating Donald Pierce pursuing Laura, it would make a lot of sense for there to be another character behind the scenes, a scheming grand-master for Logan, Laura, and Xavier to eventually face. But what would Nathaniel Essex, and his corporation, have to gain from this plan? Because we still don't know anything about this version of the character, it's difficult to deduce his endgame.
It's also possible that Essex's involvement is nothing more than backstory and worldbuilding, with the slow decline of mutant births providing a bleak backdrop to the tale of X-23 and her clone-brother protector. That would make Logan a lot more character driven, rather than a mission to foil a grand scheme — and director James Mangold has stated that this film will be based more on "character issues" than grandiose superhero plots.
But that's not to say we should count Mister Sinister out completely. This kind of futuristic foreshadowing could set him up as a main villain for the next X-Men movie, which would be set before 2024. The fate of the mutants could raise the stakes for such a film, as we see Nathaniel Essex begin his plans for their eventual demise.
While this supposed leaked summary might be pure speculation — and Mister Sinister will not factor into Logan at all — the lack of mutants in the trailer, along with Apocalypse's post credits scene, do fit nicely together.
Tell us in the comments: Do you think Mister Sinister is responsible for the mutants dying out?