Since Hugh Jackman started playing Wolverine, we’ve had 3 different Spider-men, 2 Batmen, Chris Evans went from being a cocky Human Torch to being Captain America, and people are questioning if there are too many comic book movies being released on a yearly basis. When X-Men debuted in 2000, we were a few years removed from the debacle that was Batman & Robin. There were no cinematic universes. It was a different environment 17 years ago.
I do not remember there being much fanfare surrounding the release of X-Men. I remember going to see it on a whim, even though that whim did happen to be on opening day. But there was no reason to think then that we would still be talking about those actors playing those characters. And while some have been replaced by younger versions since they went backwards in the timeline, there has been one constant. Hugh Jackman has been Wolverine throughout. That all comes to an end with Logan. Logan is expected to be the final time Hugh Jackman portrays Wolverine on film. I say “expected” because you should really never say never.
I say all of this, because I believe Logan works better when viewed as the swan song for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, rather than as the next movie in a long line of X-Men movies. It is easier to think of the movies in two distinct timelines. You have the original timeline, which includes X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The Wolverine. Then there is the First Class timeline, which includes X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse. Days of Future Past links the original cast with the First Class cast, but I think it is simpler to put it in the new timeline, since it retcons events in previous movies anyways. Now, the question is where does Logan fit in. The answer to that is a giant shrug. They do not attempt to fit it in anywhere, and that is fine. (more…)