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Watch: ‘The Wolverine’ Post-Credits Scene Illustrates Why Film Tags Can Backfire

by Edward Davis
May 27, 2014 4:21 PM
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Yes, time travel is sticky. You know what’s also potentially hazardous? Creating post-credit tag sequences before your next movie is actually ready. Yes, we’ve seen it backfire before. In “The Incredible Hulk,” Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark shows up and tells General Ross he hears he has a problem, with the Hulk saying, “We're putting a team together.” (i.e. “The Avengers”). Of course this would prove to be wrong. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe it’s S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nicky Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who does the ‘Avengers’ recruiting, and the Hulk doesn’t turn out to be the bad guy in that super-team up.

Even Marvel head Kevin Feige admits they fucked up. "I will say that the Tony Stark cameo in 'The Incredible Hulk' required us to [laughs] get ourselves out of a corner," he said in 2012 circa the release of “The Avengers.” "We do not follow up on that scene in the narrative in any of the subsequent features” he added and noted there’s a short film on the 'Captain America' DVD “that wraps that up and explains that.” OK, then, but by admission they flubbed that one hard.

Now try “The Wolverine” going into “X-Men: Days Of Future Past.” Set “two years later” after the events of “The Wolverine” (which is set in present day, post “X-Men: The Last Stand,” as Logan is grieving the death of Jean Grey in the movie), the post-credits tag in James Mangold’s film is set in an airport. Logan goes through airport security, sees a commercial for Trask Industries and then comes face to face with Magneto (Ian Mckellen) who warns him evil forces are mounting to bring about the “end of our kind.” Why would Wolverine trust him? Well, because he’s with Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Cue fan cheering.

But first off, just disregard that Professor X isn’t dead, given the events of ‘The Last Stand’ (which Prof X simply explains as “you’re not the only one with gifts”). The idea is that Logan teams with Professor X and Magneto to join forces against Trask Industries and their all powerful Sentinels. But how does this fit exactly?

Because in “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” the planet has essentially been ravaged by Sentinels that seem to have demolished most of civilization in the name of destroying mutants. And while no timeline is really given in ‘Days Of Future Past,’ Sentinels were created in the 1970s and then wiped everything out… eventually? Are we to believe, that Sentinel technology was created in 1970s, but then lay somewhat dormant for 40-ish years? And two years after the events of “The Wolverine” (let’s call that 2015 for arguments sake – it is supposed to be set in close to what is “present day”), Professor X and Magneto band together to stop Sentinels that don’t destroy anything until 2023 (the year ‘DOFP’s future section takes place)?

Sure, that’s feasible, but somewhere between 2013-ish (the year “The Wolverine” came out) and 2023 The Sentinels were “turned on” even though Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) was killed in 1973 by Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), turned into a martyr, but then his program wasn’t turned on until the 2010s? This just doesn’t really make sense. Is it because ‘DOFP’ is really an alternative future and if so, then why do the retconning actions of the movie affect the current past? Oy, are you getting a headache? Suffice to say, time travel logic doesn’t work and while the movie probably would have been logically flawed, with or without “The Wolverine” tag, it certainly doesn’t help. Are you as confused as I am now?

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  • Cyclops | May 30, 2014 1:54 PMReply

    What a blooming idiot. There are easy explanations for all of this. If you actually cared to pay attention or do some research you would know. Hero's post below says it all. I guess movie going audiences are just too stupid/lazy now-a-days

    Prof X is alive because in the end credits scene of the Last Stand he transferred his consciousness to a comatose man. He spoke about the morality of that during the film. That man was his twin brother. He had no consciousness because the power of Xavier's mutation destroyed it while they were in the womb. This happened in the comics.

    The Wolverine end credits scene? Simple, that was when he was first being recruited, as Hero stated, at the beginning of the war, when the threat is first realized in the original timeline. I don't know why that's hard to understand

  • Naw | June 9, 2014 3:07 AM

    He's not a blooming idiot. The fact that the audience has to fill in the blanks and make up a story that wasn't told on screen proves him right. "We shouldn't have to fill in the blanks for the directors and writers."

  • Derp Benedict | May 29, 2014 11:21 PMReply

    Uh, who cares? It served it's purpose: it got people excited about seeing Days of Future Past. This is just one of the many reasons fanboys suck. Quit whining.

  • Hero | May 28, 2014 2:12 AMReply

    -Original Timeline 1973: Boliver Trask is assassinated before showing his Sentinels to the United States, as he was assassinated at a meeting with the Vietcong by Mystique. Mystique is captured by William Stryker, experimented on by Trask Industries, and escaped to rejoin Magneto. Because Trask's meeting was with the Vietcong and selling military secrets (he was arrested for this in the New Timeline), Trask Industries was both leaderless and disgraced, and would remain so for nearly thirty years.
    -Original Timeline 2006-2015: Following Magneto and Jean's attack on Alcatraz Island, the United States Military renews contracts with Trask Industries and eventually reactivated the Sentinel Program.
    -Original Timeline 2015: In aftermath of Mutant Cure failure (Magneto and others regaining powers) Trask Industries successfully launches Sentinels around the world. In response, Xavier and Magneto recruit Wolverine to help stop Trask Industries.
    -Original Timeline Before 2023: In response to X-Men attacks, Trask Industries uses Mystique's DNA to create Adaptable Sentinels.

  • Derek 8-Track | May 30, 2014 8:42 PM

    I like to think that Bill Duke's character idolized Dinklage's martyr character and legally changed his name to honor him.

    I also like to think that when Wolverine stabs Jean in X3, in a final act of redemption she repairs Prof X's body as it was before she obliterated him. Therefore, X could eventually move his consciousness out of his twin's and back into his former body... Explaining the tag in The Wolverine.

  • XmenGeek | May 29, 2014 3:32 PM

    Very well explained. This statement answers straight up what the blog is questioning about the post credit scene of The Wolverine. Some people just quickly complain.
    In Xmen DoFP, future Xavier states that the new sentinels with mutant power adaptation was finally created and launched nearly 50 years after 1973.
    It is reasonable for the Sentinel program to lay dormant for 30 years to ensure the success of the experimentation of the super sentinels and avoid squandering of their resources.

  • HERO | May 29, 2014 4:43 AM

    ANON: True. It's likely that Trask Industries marketed variations of the pre-adaptable Sentinels to various military and organizations before the attack on Alcatraz Island. However, I think the beginning of the end began with Magneto's assault on San Francisco and the failure of Mutant Cure. Following those two events, it would be very likely the United States renewed it contracts with the disgraced Trask Industries.
    Also, I just released that Mystique was de-powered and in federal custody during the attack on Alcatraz Island. It's very likely Mystique was dissected by Trask Industries shortly there after as her powers began to return (poor Raven).
    Final thought. There has been some confusion about the two Trasks (Bill Duke and Peter Dinklage). Bill Duke is only listed as "Trask", not "Bolivar Trask". Is it possible that Trask is a common name, and it is merely a minor coincidence (especially since Bill Duke's Trask has nothing to do with Sentinels in X-Men Last Stand) that two very different characters share a common surname.

    HERO'S #1 FAN: Aw shucks.

  • Anon | May 28, 2014 3:02 PM

    Remember, there is also the Sentinel cameo from the Danger Room sequence in X-Men 3, which would suggest that the Sentinels were seen in some form in that timeline, prior to the "shape-shifting" upgrades made to them.

  • HERO'S #1 FAN | May 28, 2014 1:24 PM


  • Cekma | May 27, 2014 7:36 PMReply

    If you look at xmen 1-3 and the wolverine films as 1 timeline and first class and 1973 portion of days of future as another then it all works.

    If* you can just accept that prof x somehow was able to regenerate his body and that the Trask seen in X3 is not the same one that the plot of days of future is about.

  • DPS | May 29, 2014 12:33 PM

    Xavier didn't regenerate his body. He transplanted his entire consciousness into the body of his comatose, identical twin. When he awakens into his brothers body, he finds his past wife Moira, taking care of his brothers body, on the chance that he will need it in the future. And so he did... But, I am not up on the cannon of why his brother would be paralyzed from the waist down. I am sure I read it but I forgot.

  • cekma | May 27, 2014 7:01 PMReply

    This article is so wrong... do the research... the hulk after credit scene was addressed in the marvel one shot "The Consultant" it's revealed to be completely different then how you are describing it.

  • Truth | May 27, 2014 10:04 PM

    Uhh, see the Feige quotes, by his own admission they f*cked this up.

  • ASFan | May 27, 2014 6:29 PMReply

    In the Days of Future Past comics, the past element is the present and the future is the future. Because they were fixing a future in the present times, time paradoxes weren't worried about. It obviously became problematic and paradoxical when they created the past versions of characters and made the present day mutants stand in the future.

  • Jimmy Logan | May 27, 2014 6:14 PMReply

    Stop making a bunch of assumptions. There is another movie being made that explains the things that's happened between The Wolverine and Days of Future Past. They pretty much explain what's been happening up until the point that the Days of Future Past the Sentinels have been around for a while. Why would you make the assumption that it doesn't make sense that there wouldn't have been the appropriate time and money available in the 70's in order to create the Sentinels that we see in the future?

  • Steve Glansberg | May 27, 2014 5:05 PMReply

    Hmmm, I'm pretty sure when Prof X was recounting the events that lead to the apocalyptic 2023, he said it took 50 years after the death of Trask to perfect the Mystique-sentinel hybrid weapons. So 50 years from 1973 is 2023, and the sentinel technology wasn't "dormant" during that time, it was in development.

    As for "The Wolverine" post-credits tag, we aren't given enough information to know what Trask industries was up to in the 2010s that so alarmed the Professor and Magneto (maybe they were releasing increasingly dangerous sentinels, maybe Magneto got ahold of some plans for the future super sentinels). Whatever the case, I think you're right that "The Wolverine" tag does more harm than anything else, largely because of unnecessary confusion and a lack of clarification. But I also think you're jumping the gun with some of your criticisms about the overall X-Men timeline. They've done wonders patching it up as much as they have.

  • Jacob2014 | May 27, 2014 5:02 PMReply

    In DOFP, I thought the Trask Industries went under after Mystique assassinated him. I think they somehow mentioned in the film that she was then tested on and the military began working on weapons zing the Sentinels using her mutation. Perhaps this took years, SEVERAL years, to perfect. After the events of the first 3 films, people became more aware of Mutants and their powers. This could've forced the government to secretly push the Sentinels forward with Mystique's powers (eventually).

  • No | May 27, 2014 4:58 PMReply

    Yes, you're asking for film logic and continuity on source material that are comic books?

  • SingersAdvocate | May 27, 2014 4:38 PMReply

    Well, the X-Men battle a Sentinel in the Danger Room at the beginning of Last Stand... so... they were around, but not as big of a threat. I imagine their rationale is that sometime around when the Wolverine stinger takes place is when the Mystique Sentinels were beginning to be completed. Maybe we are supposed to assume that after 1973, the program was shut down for a while, or maybe tinkered with in secret, then re-activated after the events of X-Men, X2? As for Xavier, he clearly sent his consciousness to the comatose guy on Muir Island in TLS. They could have explained that he was projecting his old face onto those close to him, but decided it wasn't worth a throwaway line I guess

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