SPOILER ALERT! IF YOU HAVE NOT READ OLD MAN LOGAN…JUST READ IT…THEN COME BACK
The big news surrounding 20th Century Fox over the past few weeks is that the third (and final?) Wolverine film is going to be based on Old Man Logan. For those who may not be familiar with Old Man Logan, it was a fantastic Wolverine story written about an aging James Howlett after some kind of gigantic cataclysm. Super Villains take over the world and everything goes into the toilet. Due to some traumatic circumstances, Wolverine has decided to become a pacifist and hasn’t popped his claws in over fifty years. Things get turned upside down when an Old Man Hawkeye shows up and asks Logan to escort him across the country to make a business deal. Logan than fights his way through all sorts of Marvel villains including, Hulks, Red Skull, Dr. Doom, Ultron, Venom, Kingpin, and just a few more. While the story isn’t actually a gigantic crossover, it does utilize characters from many different Marvel Comics “stables”. As we all know, 20th Century Fox owns the film rights to X-Men and the Fantastic Four, while Disney/Sony own the rights to pretty much everything else. Making a film like this is difficult, especially if you want to keep it as accurate as you can. Sadly, we will probably never see a fully accurate film adaptation of Old Man Logan, which makes me sad. Though if Fox is going through with it, here are some of my ideas to make it work.
What to do with Hulk?
If you’ve read OML you know that Hulk and his inbred offspring are a major antagonist to Logan and his family. They rule their domain like mob bosses and try very hard to make for Logan’s family to live. They’re great enemies and The Hulk has been a very important part of Wolverine’s history in the comics. As we know, Hulk’s film rights sit with Disney/Marvel and his distribution rights sit with Universal. Yes, It’s like trying to explain the events of Pulp Fiction to half-asleep parents on a Wednesday evening. While you may call this BLASPHEMY, I believe that Hulk doesn’t necessarily need to be part of this film. Hulk is no part of Wolverine’s film history. In the movies Hulk is best known for this:
So we need to think. Who has been a huge part of Wolverine’s film history, who has been on of his main physical antagonists? Sabretooth. Sabretooth has a way of “just showing up” in Wolverine stories. Kinda like this:
Always the constant thorn in Wolvereine’s side, Sabretooth is probably the PERFECT stand-in for Hulk in this movie. I don’t absolutely love it, but it’s the only replacement that makes sense. It would also make sense for Mr. Tooth to be the patriarch of some backwoods, inbred group of feral maniacs who rule by fear and brutality. Switch out the green for fur, and that’s what you got.
The Hawkeye Situation
Wolverine’s sidekick in Old Man Logan is Hawkeye…or is Wolverine Hawkeye’s sidekick? Well, Hawkeye and Wolverine travel across the country in the Spider-Mobile (also the property of Marvel/Disney/Sony), to get from California to DC. Its a pretty sweet road trip that goes very, very wrong. Hawkeye is old, but still very competent and is a great road trip companion for Logan. He still has his wits, and while old, still embraces that Hawkeye personality. We’ve been lucky to have Jeremy Renner perform perfectly as Clint Barton in the Marvel films, but sadly he most likely won’t be throwing on the Peggy Carter age makeup to make it into this film. Which character makes the most sense to take his place? Don’t puke on me ok…but Gambit.
Most people know that I’m not the biggest Gambit fan. I feel that he’s a product of his generation; a 1990s character who has lost his cultural significance. He throws cards, which is pretty much the only aspect of his character that makes him cool these days. His inclusion in Old Man Logan makes sense. He’s smooth, sarcastic, and would fit the “Hawkeye” role nicely. Sure, it was a terrible combination in Wolverine: Origins, but Channing Tatum and Hugh Jackman could make the right team-up. So maybe Magic Mike will be putting the old man makeup on. Either that, or they create someone completely new…which I think would be a mistake as the character should have some kind of connection to Logan. The right character also has to be old-but-nimble, so a mash up with The Thing wouldn’t make sense. It makes the most sense for Gambit.
Hawkeye’s daughter is this universe’s Spider-Girl. I think that Gambit and Rogue could have had a daughter that would fit this role. It’s not the same visually, but it could work. I just hope they don’t shove Jubilee into Spider-Girl’s role in the story, or worse, X-23. (let it be known that I love both of those characters, just not in that role)
How to Incorporate the Fantastic Four
If rumor serves truth, than it looks as though Fox is going to cross-over X-Men and Fantastic Four sometime in the future. There are “what ifs?”, because F4 has to perform well monetarily to give it the necessary push to make sequels, and it has to make sense within the same universe. Luckily, Old Man Logan actually uses Dr. Doom (slightly) and the Moloids, two “characters” that Fox HAS film rights to. It doesn’t have to stop there, though. It would make the most sense for the Fantastic Four to show up throughout the journey to aid Logan when he needs it. Heck, Human Torch may be able to fill the Hawkeye role, though I don’t love that idea.
The best part of Fox having the Fan Four rights, though, is how they can get creative with the greatest character from that stable…
Dr. Doom is quite possibly the greatest Marvel villain of all time. He’s conflicted, self-interested, super intelligent, and not always wrong. What people like about characters like Doom and Magneto is that they’re not always the bad guy, or that their vision isn’t always wrong. A good villain needs to be relatable, real, and borderline sympathetic. We understand why Magneto reacts the way he does, because humanity has done nothing but ruin every aspect of his life. Dr. Doom is a man who seeks to protect his people, while trying to stop Reed Richards from the sheer insanity that he invests himself into. Doom has also become God, and has saved the multiverse (see: Secret Wars).
In Old Man Logan, Dr. Doom is used for just a few panels as Hawkeye and Logan drive through his domain. Because of film rights I think that Doom could be a great antagonist for Wolverine to fight in DC. Essentially, take Red Skull’s place. Instead of walking around in Captain America’s uniform and brandishing the weapons of the Avengers, Doom could possibly have found out how to absorb the powers of the Four, or mutants. His collection could look similar to Bolivar Trask’s from X-Men: Days of Future Past.
We would lose the wonderful imagery of Red Skull in Cap’s uniform waltzing around the White House in triumph over his old foe, but the story can still be told. Also, Logan using Captain America’s shield is one of the most iconic images in story, which we’ll also lose. I’m not exactly sure what Fox plans to do with these scenes, but I gather it will involve their own characters, or characters they have rights to. Maybe Red Skull will be switched out with Omega Red or William Striker. Fox just happens to LOVE William Striker…he’s in every movie.
If there cannot be any Red Skull action, then I would hope that Doom takes his place. Please just don’t replace the evil Hydra leader with Magneto, that would just be so entirely wrong on every level. As I love Doom, and everything about him, he has less significance to Logan’s story than some of these other characters. I just always want more Doom.
This is a needlessly huge issue for me. Firstly, I love Mysterio! I think he’s a ridiculous character who always puts a smile on my face when I see him. Secondly, he’s integral to the Old Man Logan story. Here’s how it goes…SPOILERS…In Old Man Logan Wolverine decided to retire and become a pacifist after a terrible event at the X-Mansion. Fifty years earlier, supervillains had realized that they out-numbered heroes by a large margin. So in their infinite wisdom they believed that if they all worked together, they would be able to easily take the heroes out. So they do that, and succeed. However, guys like Wolverine can take out a fairly large number of guys by himself.
The book shows a series of flashbacks of the school being attacked by what looks like EVERY SUPERVILLAIN EVER! As he is wont to do, Logan shreds them apart, kills them all, and “saves the day”. Good, right? Actually quite bad. It turns out that Mysterio had used some kind of illusion to cloud Logan’s mind. It disguised all of the X-Men as villains, so while Wolverine thought he was killing piles of bad guys, he was actually murdering his friends. That would make a guy quit any job…
Mysterio is the catalyst for the beginning of the end. He’s so important to the fabric of the story, though he can be easily substituted. Luckily, there are plenty of bad mutants who can alter minds, control people, and enforce their will. Shadow King, Emma Frost, Mastermind, Cassandra Nova, and the list goes on. While giving ol’ Fishbowl Head the spotlight for once would make me extremely happy, I can’t see it happening. Instead we’ll most likely have some kind of mutant.
The Rest of It All
There’s a LOT of stuff that happens in Old Man Logan. There are a lot of cameos, tons of characters, and locations that hold significance to the entire Marvel Universe. I imagine much of it can be cut, though it will be upsetting to lose Venomsaurus Rex.
In the end this is a story about an older Wolverine who makes an arduous trek across the US to save his family. His family’s death at the hands of his greatest adversary forces him to come out of retirement to exact revenge. The most interesting parts of Old Man Logan aren’t just the characters but the world that they now exist in. It poses the question, “What would happen if Wolverine lost it?”. We learn that only bad things can happen then. So while having a major film-property crossover would be amazing to make this film more accurate to the books, each character can be easily replaced. I would just like the integrity of the story to remain the same. I’m not really a fan of the replacements that would have to be made, but I understand that the world we live in runs on money, and Wolverine generates a lot of it. As Hugh Jackman gets older, it only makes sense for this to be the final story for Logan. We lose something without Hawkeye, Red Skull, and Hulk, but we’re not going to stop Fox from making this movie. In the end, I just hope that its enjoyable. The Wolverine franchise has been one of the weakest in the superhero genre, he deserves his Magnum Opus. I would rather a different story be told, but this is what we’ll get. Just make it good, Fox!