After the release of the official trailer of Logan, director James Mangold had a discussion with Empire on breaking down specific parts of the trailer, as well as explaining where the film fits in the X-Men timeline.
The first thing that is brought up for discussion is the use of music in the trailer. Having directed the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line back in 2005, Mangold uses Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails song ‘Hurt’ to emotional effect here to separate the tone of Logan away from any superhero/comic related film we’ve seen yet. Mangolds admits that was the intention, saying:
Obviously I have a connection and a fondness for Johnny Cash, and his tone and his message and his music. But the real driver in all these decisions is trying to separate ourselves, in an accurate way, from the other superhero movies. We think we’re going to deliver something a little different and we want to make sure we’re selling audiences on the difference. Sometimes even when a movie’s a little different, the studio’s trying to market the movie just like all the others. [Cash’s] music, in a way, separates us from the standard, bombastic, brooding orchestral, swish-bang, doors opening and slamming, explosions kind of methodology of some of these movies.
One thing that is mostly discussed, sometimes mocked in terms of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men films is where particular films fit into the franchises timeline. With Logan on the way, does this film fall into the category of appearing in the future timeline after X-Men: Apocalypse or X-Men: Days of Future Past? Mangold clears that right up with Empire, saying:
We are in the future, we have passed the point of the epilogue of Days Of Future Past. We’re finding all these characters in circumstances that are a little more real. The questions of ageing, of loneliness, of where I belong. Am I still useful to the world? I saw it as an opportunity. We’ve seen these characters in action, saving the universe. But what happens when you’re in retirement and that career is over?
The trailer also shows us Logan/Wolverine as we’ve never seen him before, besides the older factor his back is covered in scars and his hands appear to shake from time to time. Is Logan’s ability to heal/regenerate himself as quickly as he gets older? Or has his abilities fizzled out due to countless battles? Mangold said:
One of the things we all thought about as we worked on this film is, well, we don’t want to rebuild everything. We want to have some questions. In order to make a different Logan, and a different tone of a Wolverine movie, we felt like we couldn’t hold on to every tradition established in all the movies religiously, or we’d be trapped by the decisions made before us. So we questioned whether Logan’s healing factor causes him to heal without even a scar. We imagined that it may have when he was younger, but with age, he’s getting older and ailing. Perhaps his healing factor no longer produces baby-soft skin. So we imagined he heals quickly, still, but it leaves a scar. The simple idea was that his body would start to get a little more ravaged with a kind of tattooing of past battles, lacerations that remain of previous conflicts.
We were introduced to a few new characters in the trailer. One is a little girl who we assume is X-23, played by Dafne Keen, who Logan and Charles Xavier must protect her from a group that may or may not be known as Reavers, led by actor Boyd Holbrook who is set to play mutant-hating cyborg Donald Pierce. James Mangold however wouldn’t confirm if either actors are playing the characters that the audience believes saying:
I think I will just let speculation run rampant about that. I think what this film is about in many ways is family. From there out I’d let everyone figure out what we’re up to on their own, at least at this early stage. I’m not here today to confirm or deny anything. I think it’s great that everyone’s speculating and I think it reveals how smart the audience is, many of the fans, about these characters. I don’t think they’re on the wrong track.
As anyone that has watched the international trailer by now, there’s a money shot of a scene added in that’s new to the US trailer, reminding the audience that this upcoming Logan film is going to be an R-Rated film. Mangold said:
[This represents] to me the kind of aggressive, classical Wolverine action that we want in the movie – more of something that fans have been asking for, for a really long time. We’ve been limited in one way or another from giving it to them, but I think we’ve got the go-ahead to really go for it on this picture. So we’re really trying to deliver what folks have always imagined those kind of battles would look like. There is a lot of high-octane action in the movie. We’re just trying to do it very differently and very viscerally.
So far for Logan as of now, I’m liking what Mangold is selling here in regards to Hugh Jackman’s swan song as the character. The fact this takes place a few decades after Days of Future Past makes sense to me and I hoped that it would be the case that this film took place after the events of that film rather than say Apocalypse, which would have made the timeline even more confusing….but then again FOX/X-Men continuity is hardly their strongest suit. I’m still skeptical as to how this film will be as a final product come March time but I’m hoping that they give us a great story to enjoy.