Before continuity was the reigning rule of the superhero franchise, Fox liked to play it fast and loose with their X-Men films. For instance, Professor Xavier can still walk in a flashback in the X-Men: The Last Stand, but he also loses the use of his legs in First Class at least 20 years before that. X-Men: Days of Future Past set to rectify all that with a single new and improved timeline and a hopeful future for our mutants, but that may no longer be the case.
The upcoming Logan will depict an older Wolverine past his prime, taking care of an even more past his prime Charles Xavier. We know that the film takes place at some point in the future, but it was unclear exactly when or if this movie took place in the rebooted timeline as the other films -- sort of like an X-Men anthology film. Director James Mangold has set the record straight and confirmed to Empire that the film indeed takes place after the happy future established in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
We are in the future, we have passed the point of the epilogue of Days Of Future Past. 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.
Fans will remember that the Days of Future Past epilogue saw Logan awakening in a new future where the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters was thriving, Jean (and Scott) was still alive, and everything looked like it would turn out alright in the end for our Merry Mutants. Logan takes place at least a couple decades after that, and it looks like the cards are once again stacked against mutantkind. The X-Men have been disbanded for years, with mutants now finding themselves on the wrong side of evolution. Logan seems to be the last survivor, a soldier without a war. All in all, it's a bummer.
After its first trailer, Logan is already proving to be a very personal and introspective take on the superhero film. It'll be interesting to see how many references, if any, to the other films there will be- or if this will just be the latest X-Men film to ignore its own continuity. If being so far in the future frees Logan from getting shackled by continuity, it will be able to tell the story it wants to tell. As long as it's just not ignoring continuity out of laziness (looking at you, X-Men: Apocalypse).
Logan is scheduled to hit theaters on March 3, 2017.