Logan stands out from other superhero movies because of its violence, definitely, but also because of its very elegantly understated melancholy. It’s barely a superhero movie at times, instead relying on emotion and character to drive a lot of its scenes, instead of a lot of CGI-laden action sequences. But, if you can believe it, director James Mangold actually had an opening prologue that would’ve made the movie even sadder.

While speaking to IGN ahead of the screening of Logan’s black and white cut, Mongold described an opening sequence in which we see Professor X accidentally destroy all the X-Men.

I literally had written an opening which started with that sequence. And so it was quite literal, who was dead. But the reason we didn’t do it wasn’t to spare other films, it was that it redefined the movie. It made the movie about the X-Men, instead of being about Logan and Charles. And irrevocably, when you read the script opening that way, it became about this other tragedy, as opposed to that tragedy being something hovering like a shadow in the background for these characters.

This is probably my favorite bit of behind-the-scenes trivia from the making of this movie, because it really shows that Mangold knows how to build a mood. He’s right — if we’d started the movie by watching all the X-Men die, then we’d be thinking about the rest of the X-Men the whole time, and how much it sucks that they’re gone, instead of about what Wolverine and X-23 are doing. It was a good call by Mangold not to include it.

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