Spoilers for Logan
Following the success of Deadpool early last year, it emerged that what was then known as Wolverine 3 would also be released with an R-rating. The first trailer for Logan gave audiences a good glimpse at just that, with violence of a kind never before seen in an X-Men film. A second trailer only upped the ante, adding a cursing Wolverine to the mix. Now, following a slew of incredible early reviews, it’s finally general audiences turn to experience the visceral magic for themselves.
Logan has been hailed as a grisly character story surrounding the relationship between the titular anti-hero, his mentor (Professor Charles Xavier), and his estranged daughter, Laura aka X-23. As assumed given the R-rating, this final entry in the Wolverine trilogy was bloodier and more brutal than any that had come before, although perhaps the most powerful aspect of the story is what was not shown on the screen; the mass extinction of mutant-kind.
In an interview with THR‘s superhero film blog Heat Vision, Logan screenwriter Michael Green detailed an earlier version of the script that included flashbacks to the tragic events involving Professor X in Westchester:
“It actually hits home a lot harder than the versions that really painted out specifically the flashback. Of course there are versions we wrote that were never filmed with the actual flashback of what happened, but I’ve found the experience of watching it is far more poignant to just know that it was something really regrettable and it was bad and most likely, friends were lost. Or maybe it was people we didn’t know.”
In the movie, it’s established that all of the classic X-Men are dead, no new mutants are being born and implied Professor X was somehow involved, but specifics aren’t divulged. However, Green’s comments suggest that originally this core piece of backstory was going to be more oblique.
While an explanation would be welcomed, it is potentially even more powerful than actually knowing what happened. Through exposition, moviegoers are given enough information – Charles is not well and has hidden regrets – to deduce what happened for themselves. In fact, according to Green, that’s exactly why the backstory was cut:
“Nothing will be better than going online and reading fan theories about what happened at the end because I want to hear that version. I know what I think happened, I even know what did happen, but it doesn’t matter, because what’s canonized here is the emotional effect of things.”
It is undeniably a bold choice to exclude one of the film’s inciting incidents from the screen. While some may not be a fan of this choice, it certainly inspires an intriguing dialogue for moviegoers as they leave the theater.