The next film on Twentieth Century Fox’s Marvel slate, Logan, remains under a thick veil of secrecy despite the studio kicking off the marketing campaign recently. Save for a poster and a series of cryptic black and white images, there hasn’t been much officially revealed about Hugh Jackman’s (supposedly) last outing as Wolverine. As fans wait for the first teaser trailer to shed some light on the project, they’ve had to turn to the rumor mill for a majority of discussion. Fortunately, there’s plenty to hypothesize about there.
Shortly after Fox unveiled the one-sheet announcing the Logan title, alleged plot details made their way online. It’s said that Logan takes place in the year 2024, where a weathered Wolverine and Professor X are on their last days mentoring a young girl who also has a set of claws (believed to be X-23). That summary also indicated that the two veterans would be joined by the albino mutant Caliban, who is played by Stephen Merchant. Viewers had yet to see an image of the actor in-character, but that has now changed.
Logan director James Mangold took to his Twitter to share the first photo of Merchant in Logan. It is simply a closeup of his face against a black background, but it’s still a nice treat for viewers. You can check it out below:
For those not in the know, Caliban is a character who first appeared in the comics in 1981. Over the years, he has been affiliated with the X-Men, X-Force, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (among other factions). His primary mutant ability is sensing and tracking others of his kind. He is also capable of channeling the emotions of people around him to enhance his strength. It will be interesting to see how he fits into the Logan storyline, but judging by previous speculation, it sounds like he will be an ally to Wolverine and Charles Xavier. Photos from the film have indicated that mutants are endangered, so perhaps Wolverine and the Professor are using Caliban to search out a mutant safe haven for the young girl they’re protecting.
Viewers may recall that Caliban had a small role in this summer’s X-Men: Apocalypse (portrayed by Tómas Lemarquis), where he was an underground broker who offered mutants transportation. At first glance, this seems like another instance of Fox’s infamous X-Men movie timeline issues, but there is a plausible in-universe explanation for why a new actor was needed for Logan. Apocalypse was set in the 1980s, whereas the third Wolverine movie is well into the 21st century. It stands reason to believe that Caliban aged considerably during that time and would have a different physical appearance. However, Merchant is only three years older than Lemarquis, so it will be fascinating to hear Mangold’s explanation for recasting the part.
This latest reveal will only increase the levels of anticipation for the first Logan trailer, which will hopefully provide some much-needed clarity. With only five months to go until the film’s premiere (as of this writing), one would think that Fox would show some footage soon. Fox’s big holiday tentpole is Assassin’s Creed, but comic book movie fans will also be flocking to the theaters to see Doctor Strange in a few weeks, which would be a great time to unleash a trailer.
Logan opens in U.S. theaters on March 3, 2017, followed by unannounced X-Men films on October 6, 2017, March 2, 2018, and June 29, 2018. Deadpool 2, Gambit, New Mutants and X-Force are currently in development.