Wolverine 3 has long been rumored to be based on the Old Man Logan Marvel comic book arc, though that has never been confirmed by anyone associated with the project. We're a little closer to knowing the truth, thanks to producer Simon Kinberg. During a recent interview with CinemaBlend, the mastermind behind 20th Century Fox's version of the MCU discussed the converging timelines of the X-Men universe. And in doing so, he let it slip where Wolverine 3 actually lands in the scheme of things.
"The Wolverine movie takes place in the future."
How far into the future? We don't know. But this revelation sounds like we're getting closer to seeing Old Man Logan on the big screen. Wolverine 3 doesn't arrive in theaters for another year, and as of now, no story details have leaked. We do know that Patrick Stewart will return to reprise his role as Professor X, with many suspecting that his character will replace Hawkeye, who was a central driving force in the Old Man Logan plot, but who's rights are stationed at Marvel Studios and Disney. We also know that Boyd Holbrook is playing an unidentified villain.
James Mangold is set to direct Wolverine 3, and the movie will serve as Hugh Jackman's swan song when it comes to playing the indestructible mutant Logan. The idea that Patrick Stewart will be showing up alerted fans to the fact that this particular solo adventure will take place quite a few years after X-Men: Apocalypse, which is set in 1983.
The X-Men franchise actually has quite a complicated timeline, not at all helped along by the fact that 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past was a time travel yarn that reset everything from the earlier movies. The continuity is not linear, and there are canon stories being told in various different decades. While it's not clear yet how all of these converging vectors will come together, producer Simon Kinberg does tease that as the ultimate goal of the franchise. He explains this to CB.
"Well, some of the movies take place in the past tense, some take place present tense, and some of them take place in the future. It's complicated! What we've done with the mainline X-Men movies, up from First Class to Days of Future Past to Apocalypse is they jump 10 years in the past with each movie. First Class was '63, Days Of Future Past was '73, and Apocalypse is '83. The hope and intent is that we will be able to jump enough decades that maybe they can all meet up somehow someway someday."
At the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, the core X-Men team will still be stuck in 1983. As far as Deadpool is concerned, it appeared to take place in modern day, but that was never outright explained. It could be taking place in a future closer to Wolverine 3. At this time, it isn't known where X-Force, The New Mutants or Gambit will be set during this far-flung timelines.