Last night, moviegoers were treated to a special screening of Logan Noir, a black-and-white rendering of co-writer/director James Mangold’s neo-Western/superhero hybrid Logan. After the film, Alamo Drafthouse audiences in 30-some cities were treated to a live-streamed Q&A with actor Hugh Jackman, producer Hutch Parker, and Mangold himself, who all fielded questions from the audience via Twitter. Topics ranged from their cinematic influences, the challenges and opportunities that came with making an R-rated superhero movie, and how exactly they wanted to handle the fate of its title character.
Spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen Logan, either in color or black-and-white, you may want to turn back now.
The night’s biggest question concerned, of course, the decision to definitely kill off Logan, who meets his demise at the hands of a genetically enhanced version of himself, grown in a lab by the Transigen corporation. Jackman, who’d been playing the character since Bryan Singer’s X-Men was released back in 2000, said that while he was open to the idea of killing off the character that’s helped define his career, he had lobbied for an ending closer to Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Western Unforgiven, a clear influence on Logan.
“[Unforgiven] is more devastating for me. The fact that he just rides out of town, unforgiven and somehow damned in his heroism.”
Despite butting heads with Mangold over the idea of Logan meeting his maker (so to speak), Jackman decided to put his trust in the director, and even though the film’s ending been written into the script by then, when he finally saw it on the big screen, he realized how wrong he was.
“When I saw [the ending], I cried. I sat next to Patrick Stewart, we saw it for the first time, and both of us wept.”
Mangold went on to add that he wanted the film’s ending to feel like a definitive close to a long-running character. While it does answer any lingering questions of whether or not Logan really did perish and was buried under a wooden ‘X’ in the North Dakota wilderness, Mangold did say that “anything’s possible” when asked whether or not we’d be seeing X-23 (Dafne Keen) in any future projects.
Considering that the X-Men film and TV universe is constantly expanding, including an upcoming Deadpool sequel (which is itself setting up an X-Force film), Noah Hawley’s mind-bending Legion, and Bryan Singer’s new series Gifted, it seems that there’s more than enough room for fans to welcome a pint-sized Wolverine into the fold.
If you missed the chance to see Logan Noir on the big screen, both it and the full-color version will be available next week on DVD and VOD.