What's the song in the Logan trailer?

The next X-Men film looks to be the biggest departure yet for the franchise, and Logan hinted at a distinctly different vibe with the song choice for its first trailer. So what's the story behind that tune?

If you're unfamiliar, the song is Johnny Cash's rendition of Nine Inch Nails' 1994 single "Hurt." Cash's cover of the song, recorded for his American IV: The Man Comes Around album in 2002, is arguably better known than the original, and offers an intriguing match for the stark tone and visuals on display in the Logan trailer. The film follows an older, weathered version of Wolverine in a desolate future—and Cash's gravely take on this broken, complicated track is the perfect accompaniment, underscoring the tone of the trailer and making the story's sadness tangible.

Logan opens March 3, 2017.

So why choose "Hurt" for the trailer?

Director James Mangold told Empire he obviously has a "fondness" for Cash's music, which played a role in the selection, but more than that, he selected the song as a way to "separate" the project from the typical superhero tentpole trailer. "We think we're going to deliver something a little different and we want to make sure we're selling audiences on the difference. Sometimes even when a movie's a little different, the studio's trying to market the movie just like all the others," he explained. "[Cash's] music, in a way, separates us from the standard, bombastic, brooding orchestral, swish-bang, doors opening and slamming, explosions kind of methodology of some of these movies."

Considering you can practically plug and play the soundtracks and editing for a substantial number of superhero movie trailers, the Logan clip certainly stands out, and a lot of that is due to that choice. It's also worth noting Mangold previously directed the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, so he's intimately aware of Cash's catalog.

Reznor wasn't sure about Cash's cover, but fell in love with it

Johnny Cash decided to put his own spin on "Hurt" for American IV: The Man Comes Around, an album mostly comprised of cover songs. Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor said he was initially worried the cover would be "gimmicky," but after hearing Cash's version of the song he was amazed at how something so personal to him had been reinterpreted. Reznor told Alternative Press it felt like he had "just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn't [his] anymore." Even in a different genre, Reznor said he felt the song still retained "sincerity and meaning" coming fro Cash's perspective. Cash's cover of the song went on to be a monster country hit and cracked the Modern Rock chart on its way to racking up more than 2 million downloads. American IV: The Man Comes Around would be the final album Cash released before his death in 2003.

Cash's music video was named the best ever made. For real.

Along with being one heck of a great cover of an already great song, Cash's version of "Hurt" was also bolstered by one of the best music videos ever made. Film director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) was so enamored with Cash's cover that he pitched plans for the video himself in hopes he'd have the chance to make it, and even says he "begged" producer Rick Rubin to let him shoot it. With only a very short amount of time to turn the clip around, Romanek decided to take a stripped-down approach that matched Cash's arrangement. At this point, Cash's health problems were common knowledge, so Romanek tackled that frailty by featuring footage of Cash performing the song, interspersed with classic footage of the artist in his younger days. There's also B-roll from Cash's derelict museum, in a sense conveying his massive legacy in a way that paralleled his crumbling health. The video was a massive hit. NME named it the greatest ever made, while it also made TIME's list of the greatest videos of all time. Not bad for something the director threw together in just a few days.

The story of the original version

Trent Reznor released "Hurt" in 1994 on his hit record The Downward Spiral, and one look at the lyrics makes it clear this is a dark, painful song. It tackles questions of pain and how to deal with it, and admits sometimes the answers aren't always pretty. In an interview with USA Today when the album was first released, Reznor said he was "not proud to say I hate myself and I don't like what I am." While speaking about the approach to the album, Reznor said: "If you're not ready for it, it's terrible, it's noise. On a couple listenings, if you get that far, you hear through the distractions and find a beauty under the surface ugliness." It's amazing that this deeply personal song would take on an entirely new meaning, and achieve an entirely different legacy, due to a cover that arguably transcends the original. It all started with Reznor processing his pain.