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"These timelines are so confusing." Wade Wilson pretty much said it all when Deadpool premiered last year, and he echoed a sentiment that all X-Men fans have felt over the course of the last few years. The silver screen X-Men mythos has become a convoluted mess of timelines, narratives, and tenuous connections, and that is why Logan is not going to focus on them. Hugh Jackman explained:
It's a standalone movie in many ways. It's not really beholden to timelines and story lines in the other movies. Obviously Patrick Stewart was in there so we have some crossover but it feels very different and very fresh. [Following the timelines] becomes a chess game that you try to serve, which actually doesn't help to tell a story and it's sort of been a bit all over the place. I'm not critical of it -- X-Men was the first movie really in comic book, no one thought there'd be another and there were different directors different off shoots.
Hugh Jackman's comments about Logan to Digital Spy cut to the core of the frustrations that go into the X-Men universe. Rather than trying to shape and mold Logan's story to try and force it to adhere to an existing "paradigm" or tonal frame of mind, Jackman and James Mangold decided to make something that genuinely stands on its own. Logan is still an X-Men movie, and it sill recognizes the fact that certain basic mutant ideas exist within its continuity, but it also takes special care to place a deliberate rift between itself and the other installments in the X-Men franchise.
Personally, I think Logan owes lots of gratitude to the success of Deadpool with regards to how it is going to pull that off. Much like Logan, Deadpool placed itself very firmly within the 20th Century Fox mutant universe, but it also distanced itself from events that we have seen before involving the X-Men team. Sure, you can have Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, but that does not necessarily mean that you need to tie the film into what fans have come to expect from this universe. That has to feel liberating for a filmmaker and an actor.
Audiences have certainly become increasingly more adept as sifting through continuity since the first X-Men came out in 2000. They now have the ability to figure out what films are more closely linked to the main X-Men series than others. That subsequently gives Logan a distinct advantage over X-Men movies of previous years, and it definitely makes it much easier to tell an engaging story.
Hugh Jackman's Wolverine will pop his claws for the last time when Logan finally debuts on March 3.
Check out the latest trailer for Logan on the next page for an even better look at Hugh Jackman's final outing as the clawed, flawed badass!