If you have already purchased Logan’s newly released Blu-ray, then you will have surely taken its special features out for a test. The dark superhero film may have felt complete in theaters, but some scenes here and there were excised from the movie before its final cut was approved. The film’s director was happy to see the film trimmed, but fans have been eager to learn more about some of Logan’s fabled scenes. Now that audiences can watch that footage from their couches, James Mangold is now opening up about how one scene in particular was done.
Speaking with IGN, Mangold detailed how Logan’s beloved dinner scene came about. Towards the middle of the film, fans watched as Logan, Professor Xavier, and Laura Kinney ate dinner with a local family. The lighthearted scene gave fans a reprieve from Logan’s bloody action, but it wasn’t always so peachy. Thanks to a script idea and improvised dialogue, the original dinner scene wound up nodding to Jean Grey in a real morbid way.
“As fans, as the Blu-ray comes out, one of the things fans can see is kind of an alternate or some additional material we shot for that dinner scene, where Charles talks about Jean Grey, and Hugh and him have kind of a… the dinner takes actually a darker turn. A lot of what we did on those days, fairly early in the shoot, was I just played with the actors,” Mangold explained.
“The scene as written in the script was quite a bit shorter, and literally was someone asking about whether Hugh had a wife, and Hugh just saying we should move on, and ending it. But there, once we had everyone at the table, there seemed to be opportunities to me. And what's so wonderful about having actors that have been, in the case of Patrick [Stewart] and Hugh, who've been in these roles for so long, is to give them a chance to just improvise. And, you know, we'd improvise something, and I'd scribble down what I liked and then kind of turn that into script, and we actually came back a second day. So that whole beat about the school actually came out of improvisation.”
For those of you who haven’t seen the deleted scene, Logan brings up a short but sour nod to Jean Grey during the quiet scene. The reference sees the Munson family’s matriarch ask Logan whether he’s married. Before Wolverine can answer, his aging mentor does for him. ““He was. She passed. She was a pupil at my school. I knew her many, many years. She was lovely. Her name was Jean Grey,” Professor Xavier said.
“He killed her,” the man adds a moment later. Yeah, talk about a mood killer.
Ultimately, Mangold felt the scene could be taken out of Logan. “I felt it really brought the emotion down and dark in a moment when things were feeling very hopeful at this house," the director admitted in the Blu-ray’s commentary.
In 2029, the mutant population has shrunk significantly and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan, whose power to self-heal is dwindling, has surrendered himself to alcohol and now earns a living as a chauffeur. He takes care of the ailing old Professor X whom he keeps hidden away. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura to the Canadian border. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Laura possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine.
She is pursued by sinister figures working for a powerful corporation; this is because her DNA contains the secret that connects her to Logan. A relentless pursuit begins … In this third cinematic outing featuring the Marvel comic book character Wolverine we see the superheroes beset by everyday problems. They are ageing, ailing and struggling to survive financially. A decrepit Logan is forced to ask himself if he can or even wants to put his remaining powers to good use. It would appear that in the near-future, the times in which they were able put the world to rights with razor sharp claws and telepathic powers are now over.
Logan stars Hugh Jackman (Logan), Boyd Holbrook (Donald Pierce), Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier), Dafne Keen (Laura Kinney/X-23), Stephen Merchant (Caliban), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Gabriela), and Richard E. Grant (Dr. Zander Rice).
James Mangold (The Wolverine) directed, based on a screenplay he co-wrote with screenwriters Scott Frank and Michael Green.