As I said in this week’s podcast, The Wolverine feels like a rough draft for Logan. It’s a film that does a lot of what director James Mangold wanted to do with the character—take away his healing factor, focus more on character and his relationships, break away from the superhero genre—but that it was compromised to hit certain blockbuster beats. So while you have nice moments of Logan finding new friendships with Mariko and Yukio, you also have him fighting a giant robot and a woman who can shed her skin.
That being said, Mangold was able to squeeze in his vision for Wolverine’s ending into The Wolverine, and Twitter user “MauriceTheChosenOne” was able to spot it. You may recall that Yukio is a mutant who has the ability to see into the future. At one point, she tells Wolverine that “I see you on your back, there’s blood everywhere. You’re holding your own heart in your hand.” There’s payoff on this within The Wolverine itself. There’s a parasite that has latched onto Logan’s heart and it’s preventing his healing factor from working. He has to carve it out, and he briefly dies, thus fulfilling Yukio’s prophecy.
But it turns out Mangold was looking at longer game. [Spoilers ahead for Logan].
It turns out that Yukio was also talking about the death Logan didn’t come back from. He’s on his back, covered in blood, and the “own heart” that he’s holding in his hand is his daughter. It changes Yukio’s prophecy from literal to figurative, but it’s much more profound.
This also isn’t just fan theorizing. Mangold confirmed Maurice’s suspicion on Twitter.
I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised at Mangold bringing back an element from a previous Wolverine movie and using it wisely. Hell, he even found a use for the dumb adamantium bullet from X-Men Origins.