This March will mark the end of an era. Who knows if the X-Men film franchise will ever truly end, but things will be different once Hugh Jackman dons the claws for the last time in Logan. Directed by James Mangold (Cop Land, The Wolverine), Logan is set in a future where mutants are all but extinct, and will feature Wolverine on a violent road trip with Professor Xavier and a young girl, Laura, whom comics fans will recognize as this film’s version of X-23.
The latest trailer (available for general audiences and a more NSFW red-band version) just dropped, and it’s a doozy. While it reins in some of the grandiosity of the first trailer from a couple of months ago, it offers a ton of new details and insight into the bold new direction of this film. Logan is the third chapter in the Wolverine trilogy, but it’s also the grand finale of the X-Men franchise as it currently stands. There are still a great number of unknown factors in Logan, but there’s more than enough here to hold fans over until the movie releases on March 3. And with that, let’s take a closer look at what was on display with Screen Rant’s Logan: Trailer #2 Breakdown and Analysis.
I Got A Name
The first trailer was set to Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails standard, ‘Hurt.’ Cash’s version is about a man at the end of his life, reflecting not with pride, but with bitter resentment at having lived through decades of misery and pain. That sentiment is a perfect match for Wolverine, a nigh-immortal killer and survivor, the best there is at what he does.
This new trailer begins with young Laura in a gas station while ‘I Got A Name‘ by Jim Croce plays on the store’s radio. It’s a song about a drifter on the road, but it carries a much more optimistic tone than ‘Hurt.’ The point of view is from someone who dreams of creating a noble future, and is a kindred spirit with nature and her bounties. Life is hard, but it’s an adventure worth experiencing. By the end of the film, Logan himself will have to choose if his legacy will be more like the brutal Johnny Cash tune or the warmer Jim Croce song.
It’s Not Apocalyptic, It’s Just Texas
Based on the first trailer, most viewers would have been forgiven for assuming that Logan was set in a post-apocalyptic future. Between the caravans of cars, heavily armed goons, dusty exteriors, and apparent extinction of mutants, it had seemed as though Logan had more than a bit of Mad Max in its DNA. Fortunately, the world has not ended; that’s just what Texas always looks like.
Based on the presence of a dorky young convenience store clerk dutifully working his shift, it’s a safe bet that, even if times are tumultuous, civilization is still intact. It’s not all wine and roses, however; mutants are gone, with Wolverine, Professor X, and young Laura maybe being the only survivors of their species. Though the motivations of the villain are still somewhat unclear, it’s understood that mutants are extinct, perhaps thanks to the fear and hate of humankind. The world of Logan may not be in a state of overt worldwide holocaust, but the mutant population has obviously been decimated by an apocalypse of some sort.
In The Not Too Distant Future…
When is Logan set? The classic X-Men line is “In The Not Too Distant Future,” and it’s safe to say that holds true here, as well. The happy ending of X-Men: Days of Future Past took place in roughly 2023, since Kitty Pryde had sent Wolverine back in time 50 years. Reports have placed the setting of Logan at 2029, about six years later. Wolverine is old now. Getting on in years effects everybody, human or mutant. To quote Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Wolverine is at “the age where life stops giving you things and starts taking them away.” Logan himself is hundreds of years old, but even his mutated body has its limits. His healing factor isn’t what it once was, and his hair is more grey than brown. His skin is getting patchy, and his wounds are leaving scars, which had never been a problem in his (relative) youth.
For Professor X, however, it’s a different story. He’s not just old; he’s dying. The makeup on Patrick Stewart is top notch, selling the frailty of Charles Xavier and further pushing the notion that X-Men, in its current form, is reaching an end point. Patrick Stewart as Professor X and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine have been around since the very first X-Men film in 2000. Now, 17 years later, they will close the book on this iteration and make way for the next generation of reboots, remakes, recastings, and Deadpool.
The X-Men have always been a secret organization. Operating as early as the 1960s (as shown in X-Men: First Class), Professor X protected his team by erasing the memories of humans, and giving mutants sanctuary in his School For Gifted Youngsters, better known as the X-Mansion. Still, their missions became large enough that they were impossible to contain: X-Men featured an attack on Ellis Island, and X-Men 3 ended with the Golden Gate Bridge being destroyed and a full-scale ground war at Alcatraz prison. There’s a limit as to how secret such events can be kept.
In a brief scene in the Logan trailer, Laura is shown reading familiar comics — X-Men comics. In a bit of hat-tipping, the in-universe adventures of the X-Men have been turned into children’s comic books. If one is reading this far into any article on Screen Rant, then they are surely aware that the X-Men films are based on the comic books by Marvel. Wolverine is somewhat dismissive toward the funny books, with their bright colors and saccharine sensibilities. With a heart-wrenching mix of resentment and wistfulness, he remarks “about a quarter of it happened… And not like this.”
The question is: who’s been doing the chronicling and why have the stories of a group of feared and hated individuals been turned into a product ready for mass consumption?
Logan & Professor X
It seems like Professor X will play a much larger role in the film than previously anticipated; either that, or he will play a key role in the first act before being dramatically killed off (perhaps in that mysterious ball of light seen towards the end of the trailer). But what is that light? Is it a manifestation of Xavier’s powers? Is it a nuclear blast barreling toward him in slow motion? A dream sequence? It’s too early to say for sure, and answers likely will not come until the movie finally releases on March 3.
Meanwhile, one of the trailer’s earliest shots has Logan and Xavier arguing about something. It may just be a debate about the future of Laura, but it may concern something larger — like the fate of the X-Men. Xavier calls after Logan, who shoots back, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and even an aggressive, “Just stop!”
A betting person wouldn’t place their money on either Logan or Charles getting out of this one alive, so one should sincerely hope they make peace with one another — and their pasts — before the credits roll. After all, this is almost certainly the last time the two characters will ever be on screen together — at least as portrayed by Jackman and Stewart.
A Taste Of Home
“This is what life looks like: people who love each other, a home.” So narrates a melancholy Professor X while the trailer displays images of him with Wolverine and Laura in a peaceful moment, eating dinner with a friendly face. Eriq Le Salle has not appeared in any prior X-Men films, but he seems chummy with Professor X. It’s unknown if he’s merely a kind stranger, or if he and the professor have a history together. It’s possible he’s even an old student, all grown-up. He doesn’t have any dialogue in the trailer, but an actor of Le Salle’s pedigree will surely play a key role in the film, however brief the role may ultimately prove to be.
Going back to the image of Professor Xavier being engulfed by a ball of bright light, it’s possible that scene occurs in this house. A relaxed dinner is the perfect calm before the storm, and Wolverine and crew are on the run. It’s only natural, if unfortunate, that all hell would break loose just in time for dessert.
Boyd Holbrook’s Donald Pierce made an appearance in the first trailer, but this is the first time we’ve actually heard him speak. Pierce cuts an imposing figure with that metal arm of his. Additionally, it seems he is capable of incapacitating Logan with little effort, and has inherited his comic book iteration’s fear of mutants.
As for the character of Pierce himself, he is a bit younger than he usually appears in the comics, perhaps to further separate him from this older version of Wolverine. Like in the comics, he is a cyborg, though not to the same extent as his comic book counterpart. Perhaps after suffering defeat at the hands of Wolverine and Laura, he may commit to sacrificing more and more of his humanity in exchange for greater power.
In the comics, Pierce leads a band of hired cyborg thugs, the Reavers, and it seems they are his private army in Logan, as well. Brief glimpses of a car chase see Laura severing robotic limbs, and further action sequences show the Reavers using high-tech weaponry against Logan… Though he still manages to rip them apart anyway.
One shot of the trailer features a man in sunglasses with a white jacket. This is likely Dr. Zander Rice. In the comics, he created a clone of Wolverine, X-23. That clone is also named Laura Kinney. Based on the first trailer, most X-Men fans assumed she was X-23, and this new trailer confirms it, showcasing her trademark claws (two on each hand, rather than Wolverine’s three) in action, slicing throats and killing bad guys.
Despite being just as badass as her genetic twin, she’s still just a little girl, and the trailer hints at some genuine moments of heartfelt emotion. On the road, it will be Grandpa Xavier, Papa Logan, and their young charge, Laura. Will Logan take her under his wing as a surrogate daughter? Does she remind him of Rogue, with whom he shared a certain paternal bond?
It’s still unclear if Laura is a straight-up clone of Wolverine or if she was just a little girl who was altered after-the-fact. However faithful the film chooses to be to the comics, it is clear that the relationship between Wolverine and Laura will be the make-or-break crux of Logan. Based on the trailer, Mangold and his team seem to be making all the right choices with regard to making Laura a compelling character that also happens to be a child with a lot to learn.
It’s Definitely Rated R
There are two versions of the trailer; one for general audiences and one with F-bombs. However, both trailers feature Wolverine spilling more blood than all prior X-Men movies combined. It’s not just an oppressive tone which is earning Logan its R-rating; Wolverine is cutting up bad guys with explicit detail never seen before in an X-Men film.
The first trailer’s red-band version concluded with a shockingly violent shot of Wolverine stabbing an unlucky thug under his chin, with the claws sticking out all the way through the top of the skinhead’s skull. Nasty stuff, to be sure, and this new trailer contains numerous similarly violent deaths, many of which come from Laura, who is just a young girl.
Simply put, Logan is making a conscious effort to put forth a much more mature X-Men film. It’s a risk, but anything less would be a disservice to Logan and the moviegoers with high expectations for what is Hugh Jackman’s final performance in the role.