It became obvious the moment that the Logan teaser trailer arrived that 20th Century Fox’s Logan was going to be a great comic book movie, the likes of which the genre had never seen before. Picking up with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Professor X in 2029 – decades into the future – the film pulled loosely from the iconic “Old Man Logan” comic book, as Jackman prepared to play Logan for the last time. Somber in all of the right ways, it was set up as the kind of emotional swan song that Jackman’s Wolverine deserved, after enduring both notable ups and downs throughout the past 17 years on the big screen.
But even with the pitch-perfect marketing and trailers for the film, few fans quite expected Logan to be as dark and bleak as it was. With more brutal violence, heartbreaking death, and older, weaker main superhero characters than audiences have ever seen before, it’s carved out a place in the comic book genre that’s entirely its own.
All of that and more is why it made so much sense, instantly, when co-writer and director James Mangold first brought up the possibility of there being a black and white version of Logan being released sometime down the line. It looks like that will happen after all as well, with Mangold recently mentioning to Deadline, that the black and white cut of the film will likely be released with its Blu-ray:
“It is something we are doing. I think it even surprised everyone to the degree that there is a kind of a running assumption that black and white is a turnoff for most people. It caused such an extreme reaction, and so much appreciation for these pictures, and then people immediately wondering if the film itself was going to be in black and white, and so we are giving it a whirl, and I think the Blu-ray will come out with a pass on it. I think it will be a very handsome black and white version of the picture.”
Now, to fans who were paying attention and keeping track of the promotional images released for Logan leading up to its theatrical release last week, the idea of seeing Logan through a black and white lens isn’t necessarily anything new. After all, most of the Logan images that the film’s official Instagram page and Mangold himself released from the movie were black and white, continuing to reinforce the somber and dramatic weight behind the film before anyone had even really gotten the chance to see it.
It’s hard not to see a similarity between this and Mad Max: Fury Road then, which despite being released with a beautifully-colorful theatrical version, went on to get an alternate black and white cut too. Obviously, tonally and action-wise, the similarities between the two films don’t necessarily stop there either, but with Logan, the possibility of a black and white cut feels even more fitting than it did for Fury Road. So even if not as many people see this version, credit should be given to Mangold and co. for deciding to go forward with it anyways. It just continues to broaden what audiences are willing to accept from their superhero movies, and allows for even more variation within a film genre that, as of late, has come under fire for its sometimes-repetitive nature.