Early next year, when we get to watch Hugh Jackman and James Mangold's next collaboration on a WOLVERINE film, it'll be Jackman's last hurrah. As such, the story they've chosen to explore for the 47 year old actor's final ride as Wolverine is one that pulls from the classic "Old Man Logan" story arc. That's what makes today's news so interesting. The title of the film, which will be the third solo outing for the character, has been revealed and it doesn't pertain at all to the idea of an older Logan. On the contrary, the film's title indicates that we'll have a lead character who is very much looking to his past in order to make sense of his future.
According to a reputable X-Men Films fan site, Fox will call the next film WOLVERINE: WEAPON X, or simply WEAPON X.
This may seem peculiar to some, as "Weapon X" refers to the government project that turned coated Logan's skeleton with adamantium and- effectively- turned him into the Wolverine we all know and love. It's a period in the character's life that has been explored in X2, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, as well as the recently-released X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. So why would the next film, which is set in the future and features an older, grizzled Logan, be named WOLVERINE: WEAPON X?
My guess is that the film will be a slightly more contemplative affair than we're a used to. More of a character study, if you will. There've been comparisons drawn between Old Man Logan and the Clint Eastwood western UNFORGIVEN. In that film, Eastwood played an old gunslinger who'd hung up his guns. He was no longer the dangerous man he'd become known as, and was trying to live a quiet life until circumstances would arise that made him get back on the horse and go into battle one last time.
This title makes me wonder if we're going to see an emotionally-scarred Logan, now much older, having lived most of his life as...a weapon. He's spent years trying to undo the psychological trauma of all of the pain that he's experienced, and the beatings he's doled out. He's worn out, ragged, and at the end of his rope. He knows that William Stryker and the Weapon X program are partially to blame, but so is his berserker rage that he must keep in check. So in this next film, we may very well see a broken down old Logan tormented by the ghosts of his past, trying to live a life of peace, before he has to accept his fate and become a weapon once more.
This is all just my own speculation, of course, and I think it'd make for a compelling movie. One that I think Mangold is capable of creating if he brings his 3:10 TO YUMA hat with him to work. That film, starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, managed to tell a very exciting, engaging western tale of revenge, unholy alliances, and gritty violence while never losing its character-driven focus.
WOLVERINE: WEAPON X comes out on March 2, 2017.
What do you think of the title WOLVERINE: WEAPON X?