Aside from his own series of films, with Wolverine 3 arriving in March of next year, the deadly-clawed mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has always played a big role in the X-Men franchise. The most recent installment, Days of Future Past, left Logan's fate back in the 1970s somewhat murky, leaving fans to wonder if his character's storyline would be resolved in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse.
The latest trailer for Apocalypse divulged more about the title villain, Quicksilver's origins, and Jean Grey's possible transformation, but the biggest reveal was saved for the final shot. After a glimpse of carnage at Stryker's base, a young Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) tells Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) that "We had a little help." Then there's a shot of that familiar, bloody fist with protruding adamantium claws.
This seemed like final confirmation that Wolverine would, in fact, have an important role in the Apocalypse film. However, in an interview with Empire, writer/director Bryan Singer remains a bit cagey about what this scene actually signifies. Despite the added evidence that Jackman himself tweeted the footage, Singer indicates that what looks like an appearance by Wolverine may not be exactly what we think.
"Make of that what you want. I will say, it's not simple. There's something more pivotal that occurs with that. It hints to a sequence that again fits within the canon of all six movies, and the birth of a new direction. It's not insignificant, nor is it simply just a throw-in."
Tying the original three films in with the new timeline created by Days of Future Past is a challenging task, though the erasing effect that trip through time had can work to remove some of the continuity problems and character discrepancies that X-Men fans have criticized. Logan did rescue a young Scott Summers and Emma Frost from Stryker's base in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so it's possible this scene in Apocalypse could tie in with that.
The big question about Wolverine here is that at the end of Days of Future Past, the Stryker that rescued Wolverine from his underwater imprisonment was actually Mystique in disguise. That opened up the possibility of Logan never taking part in the Weapon X program, or simply arriving at it under different circumstances and motivations. Although the end of Days of Future Past showed a new future the following films should build to, Singer has said that really "anything can happen" with the central characters of the X-Men franchise now.
As for the look at those claws in Apocalypse, "it’s not the only shot you’re gonna see, let's put it that way," Singer promised, so whether we get full illumination on Wolverine's character or not, we at least won't be left hanging with just this one brief scene. The "new direction" could mean a lot of things, whether it's just a version of Logan that becomes part of the X-Men team in a different way or something else altogether. The fact that he helps the young mutants in Apocalypse hints that some of his fundamental instincts haven't changed. Let us know in the comments how drastic you think this new direction for Wolverine's character might be.
X-Men: Apocalypse will see theatrical release in the U.S. on May 27th, 2016, followed by Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017, and unannounced X-Men films on October 6th, 2017 (possibly Gambit), January 12th, 2018 (possibly Deadpool 2), and July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.