Which X-Men Timeline Does Logan Take Place In?

The more we see from Logan (aka Wolverine 3), the more confusing the overall picture is.

We know from news about the film that Logan takes place in a near future (2024) where mutant births have drastically decreased and the world is less friendly to them. The X-Men are seemingly no more, and Wolverine (now Logan) is aging and seeing the potency of powers decrease in kind. He lives with the mutant Caliban, caring for an aging Charles Xavier, who is suffering from cognitive disorder (Alzheimer’s?). A company called Transigen is converting mutant children into weapons, and one of those kids crosses paths with Logan: a child with two Wolverine-like claws protruding from each hand...

That little bit of cobbled together synopsis has sent fans into a flurry of discussion about all the red flags (or red herrings) of X-Men Easter eggs that have been associated with the film. From invoking villains like Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and Mr. Sinister (Richard E. Grant?), to strongly hinting at ties to fan-favorite storylines ("Old Man Logan") and characters (X-23)... Logan may be a pivotal entry in the X-Men movie franchise - which is why fans are also concerned with its place within the continuity.

Wolverine 3 Logan Timeline X-Men Movie Continuity
(Photo: BossLogic and Fox)

To be clear: X-Men has one of the worst movie franchise continuities ever. The original trilogy ended on drastic note with major franchise character deaths; X-Men Origins: Wolverine contradicted the trilogy continuity, and ruined a lot of characters and mythos in the process; X-Men: First Class came along and tried to wipe out the problems of the of The Last Stand and XO:W; even the more successful films of the last few years like Days of Future Past and The Wolverine don't quite synch up the prequel continuity and OT continuity; Apocalypse is further establishing a brand-new continuity to replace the OT version; and Logan is... what exactly?

The Confusion

Here's what we know about Logan so far:

  • Days of Future Past left Wolverine in two timelines: the '70s First Class timeline, where he now has a different future ahead him from the one we saw in the OT, XO:W and The Wolverine; the other is an alternate future of the OT timeline, in which The Last Stand never occurred, and characters like Cyclops and Jean Grey are alive.
  • Logan seemingly connects to the First Class timeline, since the latest film in that timeline (X-Men: Apocalypse) had a mid-credits scene with a company collecting Logan and other mutants' blood samples. That company assumedly evolves into Transigen, the company making mutant weapons in Logan- thereby directly connecting the third Wolverine film to the First Class
  • Logan is set in a future that exists after all of the X-Men films we've seen (save, maybe, the dark Sentinel future in DoFP).

Knowing the above, there are plenty of questions that we are left with, when it comes to fitting Logan into the full X-Men movie continuity.

  1. Caliban is a character who showed up in X-Men: Apocalypse, yet he has been recast for Logan. Why? Is this an older Caliban, who is so different he needs another actor playing him? Are we still getting the same guy from Apocalypse, just with a bigger name actor (Stephen Merchant) in the role? It may seem trite, but a lot of continuity may hang on that answer.
  2. How is Logan connected to The Wolverine? That sequel is already a continuity enigma since it's seemingly set after The Last Stand - yet Prof X. is back in his original body in the post-credits scene... how? So if Logan is in a separate timeline than The Wolverine, we may just have the winner for a franchise trilogy whose three installments have little to nothing to do with one another. Weird.
  3. If Logan is tied directly to First Class, DoFP, and Apocalypse- what about the OT trilogy connections? Is Patrick Stewart's Prof. X just a casting novelty (as opposed to, say, throwing James McAvoy in old man makeup)? Are we not supposed to read into that as an OT continuity connection? Or is Logan somehow tied to the new OT continuity we saw after DofP, as well? Could it actually (finally) bridge the full X-Men movie saga together? Connecting the past of the First Class trilogy with the post-DoFP "New OT" continuity?
  4. How will events in Logan (specifically surrounding that mysterious clawed child seen on the teaser poster) then play back into the larger X-Men movie continuity, if Logan is set in the future, after both the First Class and New OT films? In other words: if this child is the new Wolverine (X-23 or Daken or a straight up clone), how will that story thread in Logan manifest into a character reboot for the X-Men franchise, after Jackman is done? Or will it (like so many X-Men films) end up being a wasted red herring?
Wolverine 3 Logan Who is X-23 New Wolverine
(Photo: marvel Comics)

Those are the questions we know X-Men fans are wondering. Until a Logan trailer appears to help us answer some more of this - let's discuss! Chat with us in the comments, or on Twitter @ComicbookNow or @kofioutlaw.

MORE: Be sure to get all the lastest on Wolverine 3 / Logan as news is breaking fast!

Logan hits theaters on March 3, 2017, followed by Deadpool 2 on January 12, 2018. Movie versions of Gambit, New Mutants and X-Force are still being developed.

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