As was the case in 2016 with Deadpool, the first major live-action comic book movie adaptation (sorry, The LEGO Batman Movie) hitting theaters in 2017 is an R-Rated X-Men spinoff film that promises to put a fresh genre spin on the typical big screen mutant adventure. That would be a reference to Logan, director James Mangold’s second directorial effort set in the X-universe after 2013’s The Wolverine and Hugh Jackman’s supposed swan song as the title character, whom he has been portraying for some seventeen years now. It’s a noteworthy “event”, for those reasons alone.
Logan itself would be shaping up as something special for the superhero genre, even if it wasn’t intended to serve as the final bow for Jackman’s time on the X-Men franchise that he helped to launch (and vice versa) all those years ago. Reactions to the forty minutes of Logan footage that 20th Century Fox showed at a press event in December last year, have been all-but universally positive (enthusiastic, even). The latest Logan-related piece of news further suggests that Fox knows it has something unique on its hands here, too.
Deadline is reporting that Fox is bringing Logan to the 2017 Berlin Film Festival that runs from February 9-19th next month, where the movie will be showing out of competition. The X-Men spinoff will be joined in the festival’s “out of competition” roster by Danny Boyle’s long-awaited Trainspotting sequel T2 Trainspotting, a film that opens in a limited U.S. theatrical release the same week as Logan (before going into a wide U.S. release a week later).
The Berlin Film Festival is a prestigious event that typically sees auteur-driven vehicles premiere out of competition (last year, for example, the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! debuted at the festival), so the fact that Logan is debuting there in 2017 speaks well of both its artistic quality and Fox’s confidence in the movie. Couple that with the fact that Fox is confident enough about Logan to have shown its first act to the press well ahead of its theatrical release and Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds’ prediction that Logan will be an awards season contender next year, starts to sound all the less far-fetched for it.
Logan, for those unfamiliar, is something of a “spiritual adaptation” of Mark Millar’s famous Old Man Logan comic book story, in that it revolves around an aging Wolverine (Jackman) who takes on one final mission in a dystopian future – protecting a mysterious young mutant named Laura (Dafne Keen) from a pack of cybernetic soldiers, with help from an ailing Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). If the actual movie lives up to the buzz surrounding it, then the Logan trailer’s great use of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” cover definitely won’t be the only thing that people remember about the film, either.