By now, you should have seen the unexpectedly emotional trailer for Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine in James Mangold’s Logan. Using Johnny Cash’s haunting cover of Hurt, Logan is a very different type of superhero movie and one that promises to retire the character with style.
We can all agree that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a misfire, but its sequel The Wolverine and Days of Future Past was a potent two-punch that put the X-Men franchise back on track. Sadly, Apocalypse missed the mark again, and the long-gestating Gambit spin-off can’t seem to hold on to a director. Loosely based on Old Man Logan, James Mangold’s film adaptation
Speaking to Empire, writer/director James Mangold talks about how Logan is a more character driven superhero film.
“Hugh and I have been talking about what we would do since we were working on the last one, and for both of us it was this requirement that, to be even interested in doing it, we had to free ourselves from some assumptions that had existed in the past, and be able to change the tone a bit. Not merely to change for change’s sake, but also to make something that’s speaking to the culture now, that’s not just the same style — how many times can they save the world in one way or another? How can we construct a story that’s built more on character and character issues, in a way as if it almost wasn’t a superhero movie, yet it features their powers and struggles and themes.
One of the things we all thought about as we worked on this film is, well, we don’t want to rebuild everything. We want to have some questions. In order to make a different Logan, and a different tone of a Wolverine movie, we felt like we couldn’t hold on to every tradition established in all the movies religiously, or we’d be trapped by the decisions made before us. So we questioned whether Logan’s healing factor causes him to heal without even a scar. We imagined that it may have when he was younger, but with age, he’s getting older and ailing. Perhaps his healing factor no longer produces baby-soft skin. So we imagined he heals quickly, still, but it leaves a scar. The simple idea was that his body would start to get a little more ravaged with a kind of tattooing of past battles, lacerations that remain of previous conflicts.”
Wisely, Mangold is also avoiding some of the conventions of traditional superhero movies by not having the world in danger or cities being laid to waste. Logan looks and feels more like a Western, a genre that Mangold has explored previously with 3:10 To Yuma (and Walk The Line for a Johnny Cash link), and for the first time I’m super excited about a Wolverine movie.
The UK trailer contains a tad more violence than the US promo; we get to see Logan stab a flunky clean through the brain and that’s just a taste of the visceral action on offer.
“This represents to me the kind of aggressive, classical Wolverine action that we want in the movie – more of something that fans have been asking for, for a really long time. We’ve been limited in one way or another from giving it to them, but I think we’ve got the go-ahead to really go for it on this picture. So we’re really trying to deliver what folks have always imagined those kind of battles would look like. There is a lot of high-octane action in the movie. We’re just trying to do it very differently and very viscerally.”
Logan is released on March 3, 2017.