Every once in a while an old comic captures the imaginations of fans and rumors start flying. Right now, it is focused around ‘Old Man Logan’, an eight issue post-apocalyptic story arc from Mark Miller’s run on Wolverine. It’s a cinematic story about an aged character that we have grown to love so, understandably, there is demand for ‘Old Man Logan’ to be adapted for the last Hugh Jackman film set in the X-Men universe. The only problem, the story is meant to be set in the Avengers’ Universe.
If you haven’t read the series, read it. It’s great. Spoilers follow.
‘Old Man Logan’ relies on plot points that include characters not controlled by 20th Century Fox, the studio that has film rights to the X-Men. The central villains are the Hulk and the Red Skull, both exclusive to the Marvel Cinematic Universe now controlled by Disney. An old Hawkeye is Wolverine’s traveling buddy, also not Fox’s. The event that kicks off the story’s bleak future involves a wide range of Marvel bad guys Fox doesn’t have, most importantly Spiderman villain Mysterio who Sony is currently lending to Disney. What a mess. As awesome as it would be for all these studios to work together and split profits, that’s not going to happen. Here I propose a way to keep ‘Old Man Logan’ alive using only characters available to 20th Century Fox.
Proposed Character Substitutions
The inciting incident that ruins the world is, essentially, teamwork. The bad guys get together, realize they greatly outnumber the heroes, and finally work together to kill everyone in their way. It turns out a single villain was enough to take out most of the X-Men with a little workshopped strategy. Mysterio creates an illusion that convinces Wolverine that his allies are his enemies and he slices and dices through the X-Mansion. Now, of course, the X-Men have a smaller set of villains than the Marvel universe at large, but a union of X-Men exclusive villains are believable enough to take over the world. The question is, who can do to Logan what Mysterio did to Logan? I’d rather not establish a bunch of new characters for this film, so let’s first look at who is already established in previous movies. The easy answer is to pick a telepath to leverage mental illusions. Professor X and Jean Grey will be killed by Wolverine (if they aren’t already dead, the X-Men continuity is confusing) which leaves the conveniently evil Emma Frost from ‘X:Men: First Class.’ Frost makes Wolverine think he’s taking on the villain uprising when he is, in fact, killing his fellow X-Men. This sets us down the appropriately dark path of ‘Old Man Logan’ and will probably earn the R-rating that is in vogue since the success of ‘Deadpool.’
Flash forward to the apocalyptic future in which Logan has given up heroing after being used to kill his friends. He settles down with a farm family while the villains divide up areas of America to control. In the comic, the country goes to Hulk, Dr. Doom, Kingpin and the Red Skull primarily. All these names are off limits. Before Kingpin had his share, Magneto was in charge. This is good news, we can use Magneto. Let’s give the other parts to Sabertooth, Blob, and Mystique. Mystique is a bit of an issue considering that she is either good or powerless depending on the continuity. She lost her mutant ability to shapeshift in ‘X-Men: Last Stand’ which is debatably no longer canon since the time-altering events of ‘Days of Future Past’. As far as her being good…she’s Mystique. She wears a freaking skull on her belt.
We are left with the problem of Logan’s motivation. After giving up and settling down, we need a reason for him to become Wolverine again. In the comic, it was to pay off the Hulk’s kids to leave him and his family alone. Hawkeye convinced Logan to go on a money-making venture that ultimately was about thwarting bad guys and it got Hawkeye killed. This, in turn, led to Logan’s new motivation of avenging Hawkeye. This then led to returning to his family too late and needing to avenge them by taking out the Hulk gang. Hawkeye needs to be replaced with someone, but it doesn’t make sense for his replacement to be an X-Man. I doubt Logan could deal with those memories so directly even if the X-survivor could forgive Logan for his comrades’ deaths.
Here is where it gets interesting.
Deadpool plays the buddy role of Hawkeye. He’s kinda perfect. Not only do people already love him, he could fill in audiences with the backstory of how the world went to hell through fourth-wall-breaking chatter. It would be interesting to see how the lives they’ve led in this world have changed them both. Just as Logan has given up being a hero, Wade has given up being a douche and embraced his role as the last active superhero.
Deadpool is hard to kill, but Magneto, who will be playing the role of the Red Skull as the new “president” of America, could kill find a way to kill him. Wolverine would then catch Erik by surprise and the man made of metal would kill the Master of Magnetism. Logan returns home to find his family killed not by the Hulk, but by Sabertooth.
We close the movie with Wolverine facing down his most iconic antagonist in a bloody R-rated brawl.