The primary purpose of this post is to present a hypothetical direction that the X-Men films could go following Logan. But, spoiler free, I first wanted to touch on what I think the film does well, and if you haven’t seen it, you absolutely should. Logan is a fantastic movie.
The film doesn’t follow the stereotypical superhero narrative or use its tropes. It’s more like a Western than anything else. It also focuses on smaller, character-driven conflict as opposed to world threatening epic opponents, another difference between this film and many other superhero movies. This allows the film’s actors, who we already knew were great, to really delve into the characters and show us different sides of them. Most superhero films are about action and entertainment over substance, but Logan flips the script on this.
While I do enjoy the big spectacle superhero films, I hope that we see more superhero movies like Logan in the future. Smaller conflicts that focus on intimate situations produce more interesting films that can be completed on a smaller budget. It’s also very refreshing to see movies in the superhero genre that have a different tonality and subject matter.
I also hope that’s the lesson producers take away from this film and not “R rated movies sell good”. With producers and studios I’m never really sure what lessons are taken away from a movie’s success (or failure), but I hope that we do see more superhero movies that push the envelope and expand the genre.
But what we’re going to talk about next is what could possibly come after Logan. Warning, spoilers necessary to really discuss that.
Logan takes place a few years in the future where almost all of the mutants have been eliminated. During the course of the film we find that there are some new mutants, but they’ve been made in a lab from DNA harvested from the old mutants.
We also learn that the X-Men have become legends of a sort. X-Men comics exist in the world of Logan and supposedly chronicle the real adventures of the mutants, the majority of whom are now dead, hunted down by the government.
At the end of the movie both Logan and Professor X are dead. We don’t know what happened to Magneto, but I think we have to assume he was killed off in the purge. I’d say the same is true for any of the other famous X-Men who survived the previous films. So now, in the world of Logan, all of the famous X-Men are dead with the exception of X-23.
So, where could filmmakers go from here?
It’s perhaps most likely that Logan will end up being a standalone of sorts, but I think this could actually be an opportunity to do a hard reboot of the X-Men, if the creators wanted to.
The children who escaped from the lab all have powers based on the original X-Men, or at least I would assume this is the case. If they were injected with existing mutant DNA, then they should have powers that we’ve already seen in other X-Men, like how Laura has the same powers as Logan.
On top of that, the children are already fans of the X-Men. They built their escape plan, or at least the rendezvous point involved, on a plot line from one of the comic books.
I could see a setting where, inspired by the comics, the children grow up and take on the mantles of their clone-parents. After all, X-23 does become Wolverine in the real comic books. The new young mutants could use the same, or similar names, as their predecessors when building a new team. Instead of the writers have to dig up obscure mutant characters to fill out a cast, this would allow them to create a group of mutants who the audience would be familiar with, at least by name.
This would also allow for some interesting creative decisions.
For example, you could gender or race bend some or all of the characters to bring some much needed diversity to the superhero genre. X-23 would already by a female Wolverine. So why not a black Cyclops or a male Rogue? It would bring a fresh look to some old characters and allow the writers to engage new audiences.
It might also allow for a shake-up of allegiances. You could have a debate between the mutants about what the best way to interact with humanity is, but the heroes and villains don’t have to be the same. Maybe Magneto is a good guy this time and Professor X is a villain. Maybe neither of them are leaders in their respective causes. Changing up the teams this way could lead to some interesting storytelling opportunities.
You could also have the young mutants fight against Transigen, the conflict established in Logan. Perhaps Transigen creates more evil mutants, like the X-24 Wolverine clone, to hunt down the escaped mutants or as a bid to defend America from a perceived mutant threat. This would set-up the mutant vs mutant scenario required for an X-Men action movie.
Or, as yet another option, you could stick to the more small scale storytelling and chronicle the lives of these young mutants as they grow up as refugees in Canada trying to hide their powers from those around them.
I think any of these options could be executed well, and I hope that the X-Men producers find a way to follow-up on Logan. The movie does work well as a sort of standalone, but I think stories set in its aftermath could be quite fascinating.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my assessments or are there other post-Logan stories you want to see? Feel free to share in the comments.
Thanks for reading!