Few superhero movie series manage to stick the landing when it comes to the final movie in the franchise. As Wolverine, Hugh Jackman has appeared in 11 Marvel movies, but his swan song as the character in Logan was the most emotional experience for the actor, knowing as he did that it the last time he would be playing the character. In an interview for Variety’s Actors on Actors, Jackman revealed the complex feelings he had going into the project because of the history behind the role.
“Yeah, there were so many crossovers by the end, because I’d played it for so long. I knew it was going to be my last one way before we wrote it. I made that decision. There was a weight of expectation that I’d been carrying. I was super invested. I felt so in it. I was working with a director that I worked with three times before, who I trust implicitly, Jim Mangold.”
“I remember when we shot that scene, we were shooting very high altitude, and there were thunderstorms going off everywhere, and we had to shut down. He just said: ‘We can’t do this big stunt scene. But we’re just going to do the death scene.’ I’m like, ‘Like, now?’ He goes, ‘I’m just going to have you and Dafne [Keen], and if you could just do that.’ I’m like, ‘All right.’ He knew that’s best for me.”
James Mangold, the director of Logan, had very definite ideas for how he wanted the end of Wolverine’s journey to be depicted on the big screen. This involved an old and jaded Logan, the last of the X-Men, giving up his life to save his daughter, played by Dafne Keen. The final scene of Logan’s sacrifice takes place in the forest with his daughter at his side. It was during this scene, as Logan’s end looms over him, that Hugh Jackman was allowed extra time by Mangold to reflect on the 19 decades he had spent playing the character, and put the emotions those memories conjured into the scene.
“We got there and we’re shooting the scene. Dafne was 11. She was fantastic. We shot Dafne, and she turned around in two takes and he goes, ‘Let’s just kick out. Let’s do another.’ I said, ‘You sure? I feel like,’ and he goes, ‘Man, let’s just stop the clocks. Let’s not worry about everything. This is the end of 19 years. Sit in it for half an hour.’ And he rolled the cameras. Him just allowing me that moment – because I’m like you: I’m aware of everything. Him just allowing me to just kind of, not just as an actor but as Hugh, to remember that moment. It was a luxury that I’ll never forget.”
The scene worked in a way few emotional scenes in comic book movies do, and audiences the world over were moved to tears by the final images in Logan as the tortured anti-hero breathed his last in the arms of his daughter with a look of peace on his face. This news was reported first at ComicBook.com.