(Warning - mild potential SPOILERS are to be found below for Wolverine 3 and, if you're planning on reading it, large hulking SPOILERS for the Old Man Logan comic-book story-line...)
Now, with the recent rumors that the upcoming Wolverine 3 could well be based on the popular comic-book story-line Old Man Logan, the internet has been positively abuzz with speculation about just what that could means for the movie. After all, Mark Millar's story, which originally ran in Wolverine comics from June 2008 through to September 2009, has fast become a fan-favorite, and the idea of it coming to the big-screen has long-since been a subject of frantic fan debate.
The only problem, then?
A Whole Lot of Old Man Logan (Probably) Can't Be Made Into a Movie
Y'see, one of the problems with gory, gritty, action-packed post-apocalyptic murder-yarns like Millar's Old Man Logan is that...well, they're full of gory, gritty, action-packed post-apocalyptic murder. Which, when it comes time to persuading a Fox executive to sign off on the plot of Wolverine 3, could be a little bit of a tough sell - especially since the very similar-sounding Mad Max: Fury Road wasn't really able to translate its widespread critical acclaim into the kind of money Wolverine 3 will be expected to bring in.
There must, though, be a fair amount of Old Man Logan that could make it to the screen, though, right? RIGHT?
Well, maybe not so much...For a start:
7. Wolverine Doesn't Use His Claws Until the Very End
Yup, that's right. The vast bulk of Old Man Logan's plot is focused on Logan's attempt to be a man of peace - meaning he doesn't really fight -or pop his claws in anger - until near the end of the story.
Which in a comic is great and all, but on the big screen? We all want to watch Wolverine being the best at what he does, and that sure isn't diplomatically negotiating his way out of scrapes...
6. The Plot is Mostly Centered Around Characters Owned By Marvel Studios...
With the most prominent being an aging, blind Hawkeye, an again, incestuous Hulk, and The Red Skull.
None of whom Fox could use. At all.
That's not too much of a problem, though, right? After all, there're plenty of heroes and villains Fox does have the rights to...
5. ...They Aren't Characters It'd Be Easy to Replace
The thing is, there's a reason that The Red Skull is in the movie - he's led a group of iconic super-villains to an unlikely victory over the entire USA, becoming president in the process. Which is exactly the sort of thing the Red Skull would totally do.
Now, in Fox's X-Men-Centric Cinematic Universe, though, there really isn't an obvious candidate to take over that role. A blind Hawkeye could be replaced by Cyclops, or a de-powered Professor Xavier, sure - but there's really no out-and-out villain who's ready to take on the Red Skull's central role. Similarly, the Hulk's role as a terrifying, murderous gang-boss works primarily because we previously knew him as a hero - take that away, and replace him with, for instance, Sabretooth, and a lot of what made him so shocking goes away.
4. It'd Be Incredibly Expensive to Produce
Even without the Hulk, y'see, Old Man Logan is still absolutely full of exactly the sort of large-scale comic-book lunacy that keeps us turning the page - but that on screen would be incredibly expensive to produce.
I mean, there are a whole of gun-mounted dinosaurs in there, for one thing...
3. It's Ridiculously Bloody
I mean, that kind of bloody.
Now, for one thing, I'd be hugely surprised if Wolverine 3 ended up being produced with an R-Rating in mind, which means a whole lot of that bloody violence would have to go - but even if it did, there's still a limit to what Fox would likely feel comfortable having Wolverine do - and having him rip a cow in half is probably beyond it...
2. It's Seriously, Seriously Bleak
As in, makes The Road look like a comedy kind of bleak. The Red Skull and his allies have, by the time the plot kicks in, killed pretty much every hero you can think of - and a whole lot of the few that're left die during the story. Sure, there's a glimmer of a happy ending, but it's still one set within a world in which every hero we've ever loved has been brutally murdered.
Which means, on screen, we'd definitely see the graves of pretty much every X-Men hero you care to think of...
1. It's Actually Way Darker Than You'd Think
Remember how I mentioned the Incestuous Hulk earlier? Well, not only did Hulk have a whole bunch of kids with She-Hulk, who are all now just the worst, but he also ends up murdering Logan's wife and kids. Just because.
At which point Logan kills all of his family, too - bar one baby.
Which...isn't even the darkest part of the story. When the super-villains first attacked, you see, Wolverine was tricked by (classic Spider-Man villain) Mysterio into killing literally all of the X-Men...
...which...y'know what, that still just makes me kind of sad writing it down...
The point, then?
If Fox really does choose to adapt Old Man Logan in Wolverine 3 - and between Mark Millar's role as a Creative Consultant, and Hugh Jackman's advancing age, it'd make a decent amount of sense - there's a good chance that what we'll actually end up seeing will have even less in common with the source material than X-Men: Days of Future Past did with its...
Which, if you don't really want to have to watch Wolverine disembowel Jubilee, Storm and Nightcrawler, might actually end up being a good thing...