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Warning: major SPOILERS for Logan are ahead!
This spring's Logan marked the end of an era for the X-Men franchise with the departure of Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. To hammer home the fact that we'd never see them play their respective characters in a movie again, both Wolverine and Professor X were killed in the clawed mutant's third spinoff. Wolverine's death was especially heartbreaking, but when Jackman and Stewart saw Logan at the film's premiere in Berlin, it wasn't Wolverine passing away that made the two of them cry, but the moment when Laura, a.k.a. X-23, turned the cross at his grave on its side to make an X. Jackman recalled:
When I read it, I thought, 'That's beautiful.' It seemed very poetic on the page. And when I saw it, I cried. I sat next to Patrick Stewart. We saw it for the first time, and both of us wept.
CinemaBlend's own Gregory Wakeman was in attendance last night at the New York screening of Logan Noir, i.e. the blockbuster's black and white cut. Afterwards Hugh Jackman, director James Mangold and producer Hutch Parker conducted a Q&A, and it was during that segment that Jackman remembered watching Logan's final minutes and how seeing Wolverine's daughter turn the cross to pay tribute to his legacy as a X-Man made both him and his longtime costar Patrick Stewart cry. It was also at the film's Berlin premiere when Stewart decided to officially retire as Professor X, though given that Charles Xavier was impaled by Wolverine's clone, X-24, that seemed like a given.
As for why they decided to kill Wolverine in Logan rather than have him ride off into the sunset, James Mangold attributed the decision to not wanting to leave any doubt in audiences' minds that this spinoff was the definitive ending to the franchise's Wolverine saga, not something that it could be reversed down the line. Mangold explained:
It was about, I think, earning the right ending. But I think we wanted it to feel over. Meaning, we wanted a sense of a curtain coming down at the end. I certainly didn't want people speculating that we had left a hole open for more moneymaking and bilking and doing. I wanted it to be like, the curtain has come down, we told the story. Just like a regular movie, we're not leaving something out there. The story is over.
After living for nearly two centuries and spending recent years struggling with his declining healing factor, Wolverine died when he was protecting the Transigen children from X-24, Donals Pierce and the remaining Reavers. While there have been discussions about an X-23 spinoff, Jackman concluded his 17-year run as Wolverine with Logan, and he's moving on from the world of mutants.