[SPOILERS AHEAD. Big ones. So don't read any further if you have yet to see the movie.]
At the film's recent press day, Mangold shared with Moviefone his original plans for how Hugh Jackman's last time poppin' the claws was supposed to open. It was a scene that only got as far as the original story treatment, one that ended up in Patrick Stewart's hands. Which is fitting, because it involves the event that puts his character, Charles Xavier, on the broken path "Logan" finds him on.
"The idea was -- all (or most of) the X-Men were dead. And that Charles had accidentally killed them," Mangold revealed, almost like a mic drop.
"I had an opening where Logan comes into [Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters] and finds that a tragedy has occurred. He would have found certain X-Men, and, Charles at the center of it."
So, basically, Logan would have found most, if not all, of the X-Men dead or dying with their father and teacher tragically being the cause of it all.
The seizures Charles suffers throughout the film would have started at least a year prior to the events of "Logan," in Westchester, NY, where Xavier's school is located. (The seizures resemble a more violent and scarring form of Charles' ability to freeze people and time, which he exhibited in both the first two "X-Men" films.)
The final film alludes to this tragic event at least twice, but only through dialogue. We never see it on-screen. The most we ever learn about it comes via a radio broadcast in the second act, which tells us that Charles' psychic seizure in Oklahoma City is identical to an event that happened at the school, which killed several people -- civilians and mutants.
So, why did Mangold cut it?
"The more I drilled into it, the more it turned into feeling like a standard X-Men movie," the director said. "The point here would be to say just enough to understand what the characters are feeling. But not enough that you open up the gates of the kind of expositional madness that is part of the comic book [movie] world."
Mangold found it more rewarding to take a "less is more" approach for the audience, so "that it would be up to [them] to figure out what went down and who died."
But, Mangold added, that "maybe we will define it at a later date." Here's hoping that means we'll see this scene in some form on the Blu-ray.
"Logan" hits theaters Friday. Buy your tickets here.