All good things must come to an end, eventually, and so it will be with Hugh Jackman’s run as Wolverine in the X-Men cinematic universe in 2017, upon the release of Logan. The X-Men movie takes place at an as-yet unspecified point in the foreseeable future; a world where mutants are scarce to be found and just about everyone that Wolvie has come to care for is gone. In addition to establishing those basic plot details, the first trailer released for Logan by 20th Century Fox sets a gritty and emotionally-raw tone for the film, through its usage of Johnny Cash’s cover of the Nine Inch Nails song, “Hurt”.
Logan director James Mangold has further set the table for the new Wolverine movie’s hard-edge tone and style (one that is mature enough to land an R Rating) through a series of black and white photographs from the movie, released online by either the filmmaker and/or the official Logan social media channels. Mangold has now posted yet another starkly-beautiful B&W image from Logan online – along with a pair of storyboards that further teases the scene in the film that can be glimpsed in said photo.
Mangold, as is now his custom, posted the following Logan image with Jackman to his Twitter account with details on how it was photographed (“Taken w/ Leica S 007 Vario Elmar 45mm, ISO 100 1/25 ƒ13 — JM”), but nothing else beyond that. The Liberty Motel shown here is presumably located somewhere in the less-densely populated regions of Texas – where, when Logan picks up, Wolverine resides in something of a self-imposed exile. Logan is then called upon to fight for what’s right one last time, when an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) seeks his help in protecting a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen): the movie’s version of Laura Kinney/X-23 from the X-Men comic books, who possesses the same abilities as Logan and may have even been created using his DNA.
The director also unveiled another pair of storyboards from the film – crediting storyboard artist Gabriel Hardman (The Dark Knight Rises, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) for the illustrations – that feature the same Liberty Motel location depicted in the background of said photo. You can have a look at all three images, below.
Logan is Mangold’s second X-Men film (after The Wolverine) and dives relatively deep into the X-Men comic book mythos – incorporating such elements as X-23 and the Reavers (who are the film’s villains), while also serving as an adaptation of Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan comic book storyline in spirit, if not so much text. In other ways though, Logan appears to harken back to Mangold’s previous work outside of the superhero genre; namely, his neo-western crime drama Cop Land and his 2007 western remake, 3:10 to Yuma. Even the use of Cash’s cover of “Hurt” in the film’s trailer serves as a reminder that Mangold directed an Oscar-winning biopic about the musician, in the form of Walk the Line.
Mangold has said that he drew on “classical filmmaking” techniques for inspiration on Logan as much as he did comic books and it shows – in a good way, that is. Whereas The Wolverine didn’t quite manage to break out of its superhero movie mold, it appears as though Logan has a better chance at doing just that, while at the same time featuring plenty of connections and ties to the larger X-Men film universe to please fans of the franchise. That’s the hope anyway, as that would be just about the perfect way to round out Jackman’s 17-year run playing Wolverine on the big screen, too.