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When it was first announced that the final Wolverine filmed would be entitled Logan, it implied a more personal film than the recent X-Men: Apocalypse. One look at the poster, and it seemed clear that this was right on the money. The X-Men franchise has done well to keep the stakes high, but for this last outing, it’s all about family.

Speaking with Empire, Logan director James Mangold clarified many points regarding the trailer, and even confirmed what the overall story would be about at a core level:

“I think this movie is about family, and sticking together, and about making connections in a world in which our characters might feel very alone.

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“Hugh and I have been talking about what we would do since we were working on the last one, and for both of us it was this requirement that, to be even interested in doing it, we had to free ourselves from some assumptions that had existed in the past, and be able to change the tone a bit. Not merely to change for change’s sake, but also to make something that’s speaking to the culture now, that’s not just the same style — how many times can they save the world in one way or another? How can we construct a story that’s built more on character and character issues, in a way as if it almost wasn’t a superhero movie, yet it features their powers and struggles and themes?”

This is a story that’s not at all unique to the X-Men franchise — given that most of the characters are cast out of society, they all tend to be about forming a family at some level, but given the increased isolation of mutants in this world, that desire to stick together will likely be stronger than usual.

“We’re finding all these characters in circumstances that are a little more real. The questions of ageing, of loneliness, of where I belong. Am I still useful to the world? I saw it as an opportunity. We’ve seen these characters in action, saving the universe. But what happens when you’re in retirement and that career is over? The really interesting thing to me, or a place to dig that hadn’t been dug, was the idea of mutants when they’re no longer useful to the world, or even sure if they can do what they used to do. Their powers are diminished like all of ours are by age.”

Apart from the decidedly grounded tone of this movie, one thing that may have struck Wolverine fans were the scars that Wolverine was bearing in one of the shots. This is Wolverine we’re talking about, right? How can he scar when he heals almost instantly. Well, in order to make this possible, Mangold looked to make some changes in the character’s abilities.

“One of the things we all thought about as we worked on this film is, well, we don’t want to rebuild everything. We want to have some questions. In order to make a different Logan, and a different tone of a Wolverine movie, we felt like we couldn’t hold on to every tradition established in all the movies religiously, or we’d be trapped by the decisions made before us. So we questioned whether Logan’s healing factor causes him to heal without even a scar. We imagined that it may have when he was younger, but with age, he’s getting older and ailing. Perhaps his healing factor no longer produces baby-soft skin. So we imagined he heals quickly, still, but it leaves a scar. The simple idea was that his body would start to get a little more ravaged with a kind of tattooing of past battles, lacerations that remain of previous conflicts.”

One thing you can expect to be present and in full force in this film is the inherent violence in Wolverine. In fact, now, more than ever, they’ve learned to embrace that aspect of the character, no longer shooting for that almighty PG-13 rating.

“[This represents] to me the kind of aggressive, classical Wolverine action that we want in the movie – more of something that fans have been asking for, for a really long time. We’ve been limited in one way or another from giving it to them, but I think we’ve got the go-ahead to really go for it on this picture. So we’re really trying to deliver what folks have always imagined those kind of battles would look like. There is a lot of high-octane action in the movie. We’re just trying to do it very differently and very viscerally.”

Finally, the age-old question (for me at least) comes in the form of the timeline. X-Men: Days of Future Past chronicled a dystopian future where mutants were on the run. So when does this film take place, especially considering it looked decidedly less futuristic than DoFP despite having a more decrepit Wolverine and Xavier. While Mangold didn’t confirm the specific date, he did confirm one thing:

“We are in the future, we have passed the point of the epilogue of Days Of Future Past.”

There are rumors that it takes place one year after that alternate future, but there’s nothing really official.

What do you think of Mangold’s comments? Let us know your thoughts down below!

Logan hits theaters on March 2, 2017.

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SOURCE: Empire