The stand-alone Wolverine films have had a hard time. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a horrible mess. There were poor creative decision (sewing Deadpool’s mouth shut anyone?), a complete retread of X2 material, horrible effects, and some strange casting decisions (will.i.am. Really?). Then whilst 2013’s The Wolverine was actually a good film, it was also a completely forgettable one. Now, based solely on this first trailer, it looks like they may have found their place.
Deadpool obviously paved the way for Logan to happen. The fact that it proved that an R-rated superhero film could make a lot of money meant that Fox were able to take Wolverine in this different direction. But most refreshingly it doesn’t look like James Mangold, Hugh Jackman, and the writers are being asked to just reproduce Deadpool. Whilst Logan will be heading for an R-rating, it has its own far more distinct tone. With a more somber mood, beautifully underscored by Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt, Logan finally feels like the passion project Wolverine film that Jackman and co have been wanting to make.
There are clear allusions to the classic story Old Man Logan, with changes necessitated by rights issue, as Logan appears to be heading on a road trip with an old acquaintance (Patrick Stewart’s Professor X rather than Hawkeye) in a post apocalyptic world. You also get the feeling that Logan is alluding to other post apocalyptic source material, like The Last of Us or even The Road. That’s a lot to try and draw from just one trailer, but I love the fact that it looks like Mangold and Jackman are trying to create a more emotional, and story driven Wolverine film.
The trailer doesn’t give too much away about what the actual story of the film will be, and that’s exactly what you want. This first tease is here to sell us on the tone and direction of the film, and right now it has certainly done that.