[Slight SPOILERS for Logan ahead.]
Hugh Jackman may have retired from playing Wolverine, but he went out on a high note. Logan has been a critical hit since early screenings (it currently is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 92 percent). The reception to film has also been seen at the box office, as Logan surpassed expectations, nearly topping $250 million worldwide in its opening weekend.
The fact that this is Jackman’s last ride likely contributed to the film’s success, but the movie was also backed by a fantastic marketing campaign led by emotional trailers and an abundance of black and white photos depicting the stark environments in which the story unfolds. And now, some new concept art shows the full scope of the film’s future world.
Artist Shae Shatz (via io9) posted a number of environmental designs for Logan. Most of them, if translated to the big screen, would have functioned as set up shots for various locations. Logan and Charles’ hideout is featured a few different times, as is the casino they visit in the middle of the film. There’s also a mystery base built on a river.
One interesting thing to note from most of these concepts is the addition of a dog traveling with Logan. No pets were included in the final cut, so it would be interesting to learn whether the animal was something Shatz added to the artwork, or if it was originally a part of the story. Given that Logan eventually wound up wandering with Professor X and Dafne Keen’s X-23, a canine companion might have been one character too many, so it’s probably a good thing the film ultimately eschewed the idea.
Regardless, these pieces of art do a tremendous job at reflecting the final product, showing that Fox, Jackman, and director James Mangold had a clear vision early on. It’s remarkable to see how that vision is first represented in artwork, like the kind created by Shatz, and how it later is brought to life. So often concept art seems to illustrate how many iterations a film goes through before landing on the idea or look that will become a central part of the film. Considering the landscape artwork here is so detailed and so specific to the story and the overall tone of Logan, it seems as though the filmmakers made the right choice in hewing as close to the artist’s work as possible.