The upcoming Wolverine sequel Logan will be different from other X-Men and Wolverine movies in a lot of ways. It will be grittier, more adult and more character-driven – it might even end up being R-rated. At the end of the day, it could become the first superhero movie to make a significant run at an Oscar nomination for Best Picture (unless Deadpool beats it to that distinction).
One other important question fans have had about Logan is how it will fit into the already-existing X-Men movie timeline, which, owing to some time-traveling scenarios, has become a bit convoluted and confusing. Logan director James Mangold has already spoken out to clear up any confusion about when the movie is set and why the decision was made to place the film in that particular time.
Logan as it turns out will be set in the year 2029. James Mangold sat down with ComicBook.com to discuss the movie’s timeline and why that year was chosen. In short, Mangold wanted to place Logan at a spot on the X-Men timeline where it wouldn’t conflict with any other movies in the series:
“There’s an epilogue scene in Days of Future Past which is 2024, or 2023, something like that. I just wanted to get far enough past. My goal was real simple: It was to pick a time where I had enough elbow room that I was clear of existing entanglements. Part of the way I think these films stop being fresh (these films being franchise comic book movies) is when you find yourself making essentially a television series with $200 million episodes where you’re literally just picking up where the last one left off and you’re making a mini-series. Then, it’s impossible to do something fresh, meaning essentially you’re just a director on the 14th episode of a television show picking up where the last one left off and people are going to be really startled by any discontinuity or changes.”
Mangold and company clearly wanted Logan to stand out in as many ways as possible. Not only will it be distinctive in tone, it will also stand alone in terms of its placement on the X-Men timeline. The message here is simple: Logan is its own thing. Despite the presences of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, it shouldn’t be taken as just another installment in the X-Men series.
You can’t fault Mangold and Jackman for wanting to do something unusual with Logan, especially since this is very possibly the last time the actor will be taking on the role. The production has a “let’s go out with a bang” feel to it, and Mangold’s new remarks about wanting to keep the movie clear of entanglements with the rest of the series only reinforces this sense of Logan being something special and memorable.
Of course when filmmakers take risks like this, there is always the possibility of failure. Logan may be carving out a new path for the character and for superhero movies in general, but there’s no guarantee this path will lead to box office or critical success. With all the big talk about Logan taking superhero movies to a different level and possibly garnering Oscar buzz, expectations are going to be very high when the movie finally releases.