Superhero movies almost always draw influences from comic storylines, and it's no different for the upcoming Logan. It's clear that the Marvel comic book mini-series Old Man Logan has a big influence on Logan, but that may only be on the surface level. The film and the comic have similar loglines, but Logan gets some of its central themes from a source that has nothing to do with Wolverine. According to Logan director James Mangold, the phenomenal seriesWatchmen was a major influence on the themes of the film.
In an interview with Fandango, James Mangold gets into deep details on Logan, from giving fans what they've always wanted to see to trying to bring a conclusion to Hugh Jackman's saga as Wolverine. When discussing the themes of the film, Mangold said that Logan plays with legacies and co-existing with the celebrity of your past. That feeling of inadequacy when comparing yourself to your legacy plays an integral role in the movie, and if that sounds more than a little like Watchmen, it's purposeful. When asked if Watchmen played an influence on Logan, Mangold admitted that it was true.
The comic book, yes. I don't think the movie got to come quite full circle on it, but I think that's a great concept in Watchmen, yes.
While it's clear that Logan takes plenty of inspiration from Old Man Logan -- from the older and wearier Wolverine to the bleak and dusty take on the future -- it deviates from the storyline in huge ways. A lot of that is because it's impossible for Fox to use all of the Marvel-owned characters that are in Old Man Logan, but clearly James Mangold wanted to tell a different story from what the comic ended up doing.
Watchmen is a comic with a few scenes, but one of them is the idea of legacy and how it can impact you. This works in Logan in a couple ways. The latest trailer revealed that the X-Men do exist in this universe in comic book form, and according to Logan, the books don't really reflect what happened in real life. But they still show him as a heroic figure, which he may not view himself as. He's also got the young Laura aka X-23 on his hands, who shares more than a few similarities to himself. In that way, he also deals with legacy and how it has affected her.
Logan looks like a great and impactful film and all of this only makes me more excited to see it. Some people have already seen the first 40 minutes of Logan and they've only been raving about it. The film finally hits theaters on March 3.