Since the announcements started rolling in for Logan, fans have been eagerly anticipating a trailer drop, and now we finally have it. While that's definitely the biggest piece of news for the third (and final) Wolverine solo film, there was some news that went overlooked: the newest character roles listed on IMDb spell out quite a bit of the plot of Logan.
In the latest role to be revealed (though not formally announced by Fox), Richard E. Grant has been confirmed to be portraying the diabolical Dr. Zander Rice.
Dr. Zander Rice Has A Pivotal Role To Play In Logan: He Helped Create X-23
Zander Rice may be unfamiliar to most casual X-Men fans, but diehard fans of Marvel Comics will immediately recognize Rice's name for the pivotal part he plays in recreating the Weapon X program, which inadvertently leads to the birth of X-23. It'll more than likely be Rice who introduces X-23 to the X-Men cinematic universe.
X-23 (listed only as "Laura" so far) has already been confirmed for the film and will be played by Sienna Novikov.
For those who are unfamiliar with X-23 (a.k.a. Laura Kinney), she is a clone of Wolverine, created by Dr. Zander Rice, Dr. Sarah Kinney and Dr. Martin Sutter in their attempt to revive the Weapon X program. She holds the namesake of Kinney, as Dr. Sarah Kinney was her biological mother. It wasn't Dr. Kinney's intention to give birth to X-23 but she was secretly impregnated by Dr. Zander Rice when the genetic sequencing for Wolverine's DNA came back and produced a viable specimen; it wasn't an exact copy of Wolverine, so in a fit of rage, Dr. Rice impregnated Dr. Kinney with the clone and required her to bring the clone to term.
Along going through this ordeal, Rice and Kinney shared quite a few disagreements over how the Weapon X project was run, as well as butting heads over ethics, despite their scientific experiments being ethically questionable in general.
The post-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse could have foreshadowed these events since Zander Rice's father, Dr. Dale Rice, holds a major tie to the original Weapon X program — the same program briefly seen during X-Men: Apocalypse.
The Essex Corp Briefcase Seen In X-Men: Apocalypse Will Be Addressed In Logan
During that post-credits scene, we see an unidentified individual arriving at the Weapon X facility after Wolverine massacred the entire staff, packing vials of Wolverine's DNA into a briefcase with the label, "Essex Corp."
One thing is very clear: that briefcase is going to have lasting repercussions on the X-Men universe, especially from the attachment of Dr. Zander Rice to Logan.
Rice's father, Dr. Dale Rice, could have been the one walking away with the Essex Corp briefcase filled with Wolverine's DNA. It's also possible that Wolverine killed Dale Rice and it was his associate Dr. Martin Sutter seen carrying the Essex Corp briefcase out of the Weapon X facility, which is how it happened in the comics. Sutter continued his research into the Weapon X program and later recruited Dale Rice's son, Zander.
Along with the help of Dr. Sarah Kinney, the three were able to recreate the Weapon-X program, and birthed X-23 into existence.
Dr. Zander Rice might have initially been overlooked when casting announcements went out, but he's definitely going to have a pivotal in the Logan storyline. Richard E. Grant, the actor who will portray Rice, has his work cut out for him in conveying the character's malevolent personality. Rice's comic-book origins set him up to be an extremely questionable character and he's definitely going to be a highlight of Logan.
Logan will be hitting theaters on March 3, 2017.
What do you think of Richard E. Grant playing Dr. Zander Rice in Logan?