Ever since the April 2016 announcement that Richard E. Grant would be joining the cast of Logan in a sort of mad scientist role, speculation has run wild as to just which comic book character he’d be playing. With the knowledge that Dafne Keen would be playing Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23, the most likely culprit for Grant was that of Dr. Zander Rice, a scientist with a grudge to bear against the original Weapon X (a.k.a. Wolverine / Logan / Hugh Jackman). Though it hadn’t been officially confirmed, the casting list on IMDb had Grant’s character listed as Zander Rice.
Today, Jackman himself revealed a new image of Grant in character over social media. While the picture itself isn’t anything spectacular–although the black-and-white does look damn fine–the tagline that went with it confirms that Grant is indeed playing Rice. That opens up a whole new potential plotline in the film, which also stars Patrick Stewart (reprising his role of Professor Charles Xavier), Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, and Elizabeth Rodriguez, and opens March 3, 2017. Some mild spoilers may follow after the image.
Check out the image below:
Now unless this image is describing Grant’s favorite gluten-free starch, it’s probably a nod to his comic book counterpart.This is where things can get comic-book crazy. If Grant’s character is indeed Dr. Zander Rice, then we can assume that his father, Dale Rice, was likely killed in the rampage of the escaped Weapon X, as we saw in X-Men: Apocalypse. In the comics, Dale was fleeing the facility in an attempt to escape death, but was also on the run with a briefcase full of secret information on the project; an Essex Corp. briefcase was also seen in the post-credits scene of X-Men: Apocalypse, suggesting that someone (Dr. Martin Sutter, in the comics, though it could be the elder Rice in the movie) liberated it from Rice’s person. (It also suggests that Mr. Sinister will play a big role in the upcoming film.)
Fast forward to the future-set Logan and we’ll likely find an older Zander Rice attempting to recreate the Weapon X program and still harboring some hatred for Old Man Logan. In the comics, Dr. Sutter recruits Zander to work on the project, which is a complicated partnership to say the least. Things get even more complicated when the pair is forced to bring in geneticist Dr. Sarah Kinney to sort out the project’s difficulties in maintaining viable clones. If Kinney’s name sounds familiar, that’s because she’s tied into the genesis of X-23 in the most intimate of ways. Things get pretty dark and twisted from here on out, so it’s quite possible that the R-rated Logan will be revisiting this particular arc from the comics.
Are you excited to see Dr. Rice and his story play out on the big screen? Let us know in the comments!