Seeing is believing, bub
After months of sporadic updates, followed by several weeks of a new photo from the set of the film appearing seemingly each day (sometimes more than one photo in a single day), the first trailer for Logan was released on October 20.
Confirming months of speculation, the Logan trailer appeared to combine several of the most popular story lines from Wolverine’s comic-book history in one big-screen adventure. Elements of writer Mark Millar’s celebrated Old Man Logan comic book miniseries (featuring a geriatric Wolverine on a cross-country journey) seemed to be blended with the story of Wolverine’s clone, X-23, and wrapped around a larger conspiracy story that does indeed seem to connect with the sinister Essex Corp. from the comics, which was alluded to in the post-credits scene from X-Men: Apocalypse.
A red-band, international trailer for Logan was released a short time later, featuring much of the same footage as the original trailer with the addition of a brief scene around the 1:28 mark that suggests this version of Wolverine isn’t going to skimp on the brutal use of his claws.
One last ride
Plans for the film that would eventually become Logan kicked off in late 2013, with 20th Century Fox approaching Mangold to direct a sequel to The Wolverine, which effectively saved the character’s solo franchise due to its critical and commercial success.
Previously, Jackman indicated that he believed he was nearing the end of his run as Wolverine, having appeared in eight films in the X-Men franchise so far — six of which cast him in a featured role — so there was speculation early on that his next film could be his last as the popular Marvel Comics character. In a July 2015 request for fan input on the direction Wolverine’s story should go in the next film, Jackman seemed to confirm (via an image posted on Twitter) that the project would serve as his farewell to Logan.
My last time putting on the claws. What do you want to see happen? 50 words or less. I'll read as many as I can. pic.twitter.com/ksA1Gii5tf
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) July 27, 2015
“My last time putting on the claws. What do you want to see happen? 50 words or less. I’ll read as many as I can.” he wrote in the caption for a photo depicting Wolverine with one claw extended, along with the hashtag “#OneLastTime.”
Various reports during the film’s development cycle then began hinting that the 2008-2009 miniseries Old Man Logan — which followed a past-his-prime Logan undertaking a final adventure through a post-apocalyptic version of the Marvel Comics universe — would be the inspiration for the next Wolverine solo movie. Those rumors were confirmed by Old Man Logan writer Mark Millar in a September 2015 interview with IGN.
Casting for the film soon began in earnest, with Jackman already locked in as Wolverine, and various other familiar faces from the franchise, as well as newcomers to the X-Men cinematic universe, added to the cast in the following months.
Cameras began rolling on the movie in May, and filming concluded a few months later, in August. The official title for the film, Logan, was finally revealed by Jackman on October 5.
Going old for something new
From the very early stages of development on Logan, speculation suggested that the film would take inspiration from Old Man Logan, an acclaimed, eight-issue story written by Millar that kicked off in 2008 and featured an aging Wolverine embarking on one final, cross-country adventure.
Casting reports for the film seemed to reiterate the future setting of the film, and Millar himself later confirmed that his story would inform the film in one way or another. Those rumors were confirmed in October, when some of the first images, official title, and a page form the script of the film were all revealed in a flurry of Logan-related news.
Page two of our screenplay. pic.twitter.com/5X93NtWuVS
— Mangold (@mang0ld) October 5, 2016
Among the announcements made during a busy week for the film was the debut of the movie’s first, official poster, which Mangold revealed on Twitter.
The poster generated a new line of speculation with its depiction of a child’s hand holding Wolverine’s clawed hand, with fans now led to believe the film could also feature the debut of X-23, the teenage mutant cloned from Logan who is a prominent character in the Marvel Comics universe.
— Mangold (@mang0ld) October 5, 2016
This was followed by an image of Narcos actor Boyd Holbrook on the set of the film, posted by Mangold in mid-October. The director’s caption for the film, “Pierce,” hinted that he could be playing Donald Pierce — a recurring foe of the X-Men in Marvel’s comics and the leader of a deadly, anti-mutant organization called The Reavers.
X-Men franchise director Bryan Singer later indicated in the commentary track for 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse that his film’s post-credits scene — which features a group of mysterious agents from “Essex Corp.” removing a vial of Wolverine’s blood from a secret government laboratory — would directly connect with the debut of popular X-Men foe Mr. Sinister in the next Wolverine solo movie. This added yet another layer to the story rumors surrounding the film.
Many elements of the rumors and speculation were eventually confirmed on October 20, when the first trailer for Logan premiered. Along with offering the first footage from the film, it also indicated that the film would indeed be a mash-up of Old Man Logan with the story of X-23 (or at least, a movie version of the character), The Reavers, and various other story threads that had been discussed in the preceding months.
Mutants (and non-mutants) assemble
Jackman’s role as Wolverine in Logan had always been assured, but the rest of the film’s cast included quite a few surprises as each actor was announced.
Most notable among the returning characters is Stewart as an aging Charles Xavier. Stewart hinted at a potential return to the character as far back as February 2015, and confirmed his role in Logan in early 2016. The first photo of Stewart in character was revealed by Mangold in October 2016, however, and featured a very different look for the former leader of the X-Men.
Taken w/ Leica S 007 Summicron 100mm, ISO 3200 1/250 ƒ3.4 — by JM pic.twitter.com/Jhwsf7uBhv
— Mangold (@mang0ld) October 6, 2016
Among the other cast members announced — and later featured in photos posted by Mangold or on Instagram by the studio, cast, or creative team on the movie — was actor and comedian Stephen Merchant as Caliban, the albino mutant with the ability to track other mutants.
Merchant appeared in character in a set of photos posted in early October.
Taken w/ Leica S 007 Summicron 100mm, ISO 1600 1/250 ƒ2 — by JM pic.twitter.com/8P3s5Mdruo
— Mangold (@mang0ld) October 17, 2016
Narcos actor Boyd Holbrook also appeared in a noteworthy photo posted on Instagram, as it hinted that he would play an infamous character well-known to X-Men comics fans: Donald Pierce.
The leader of a dangerous, fanatical group of anti-mutant agents known as The Reavers, Donald Pierce was a recurring enemy — and a dangerous one, responsible for the deaths of several characters — for the X-Men. In one particularly memorable story line from Marvel’s comics, Donald Pierce crucified Logan as a warning to other mutants after defeating him.
Other cast members officially announced for the film include Richard E. Grant as Dr. Zander Rice, scientist for Essex Corp., and Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney, the young mutant cloned from Wolverine. Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal, and Elizabeth Rodriguez all appear in unidentified supporting roles.
The first photo of Jackman as an aging, scarred Logan was posted by Mangold on October 19, the day before the first trailer for the film was released.
Taken w/ Leica SL, Noctilux 50mm, ISO 1600 1/1000 ƒ1.7 — by JM pic.twitter.com/Rz4MUyctqq
— Mangold (@mang0ld) October 19, 2016
Logan is scheduled to hit theaters March 3, 2017.
Updated on 3-1-2017 by Rick Marshall: Added comments from Boyd Holbrook regarding Logan box office vs. Deadpool box office.
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