‘Logan’ Director Explains How R-Rated Film Is Different From Its Superhero Rivals

Logan is a very important movie in the X-Men franchise. First of all it’s reportedly going to be Hugh Jackman’s last outing as Wolverine, a character that he has been playing over the last 17 years in nine films. Just as important, though, is the fact that Logan is going to be R-rated, meaning that we’ll get to see a much more violent, gory, and angry version of the character.

The man tasked with overseeing Logan is James Mangold, who previously directed The Wolverine in 2013. James Mangold is well aware of just how important it is to do the character of Logan justice in the R-rating setting, especially since Deadpool was met with such critical acclaim when it was released earlier this year. It also managed to fare rather well at the box office, too, as it became the most successful installment to the X-Men franchise thanks to its $783 million gross.

James Mangold opened up about the pressures of directing Logan to Flicks And The City, via Comic Book, insisting that he was very much aware that the superhero blockbuster has been stretched so far over the last decade that simply providing spectacle and action is no longer enough. This is why he’s insisting that Logan is as much of a drama as it is a superhero film.

James Mangold talks Logan

James Mangold explained,

“Spectacle is not enough. The thing that we’re trying to differently is trying to invest in character. The fact is that a lot of these movies are a collection of set pieces of action with very short connective things basically explaining how we go from action piece A to action piece B. We wanted to make a movie that’s really a drama. If you cut out the action, what you’d have is a powerful drama about interesting character. Whether that makes us different or not, I’ll leave others to judge but I think it was our goal to make a movie that earned its audience from feeling real. Really feeling human or feeling intimate.”

The first 40 minutes of Logan was shown to journalists at the start of December to rapturous applause, with the general consensus being that it’s the Wolverine film that moviegoers have been pining for for years. In fact, the response to the Logan footage was so good that James Mangold admitted he’s already been receiving compliments for it. James Mangold remarked,

“Someone told me that the movie made it feel like you might walk out onto the street and run into this Wolverine. That it’s not taking place in a different universe but our own.”

James Mangold has been speaking about just how important it is to make Logan different to its superhero rivals for several months now. In fact, when the first trailer for Logan was released he chatted to Empire Magazine about the various decisions that they made throughout its production to really differentiate it from other outings from the genre.

When the first trailer for Logan was released, many moviegoers were struck by the use of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt,” a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song, especially since James Mangold had previously directed the Oscar-winning biopic of the country singer, I Walk The Line. James Mangold insisted the use of “Hurt” was a conscious decision to set Logan apart. James Mangold noted,

“Obviously I have a connection and a fondness for Johnny Cash, and his tone and his message and his music. But the real driver in all these decisions is trying to separate ourselves, in an accurate way, from the other superhero movies. 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. [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.”

But arguably the most impactful and exciting moment of the trailer for Logan appeared in the red-band version. This wasn’t for the faint-hearted, though, because it showed Wolverine piercing straight through a man’s head with his claws, and instantly proved that Logan will be a much, much different offering than the other X-Men films, and most other superhero efforts, too.

Hugh Jackman in Logan

James Mangold admitted in the same discussion with Empire that this violent shot was included in the trailer to show to fans just how different Logan will be. James Mangold remarked,

“[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.”

We don’t have long to wait to find out if James Mangold has delivered the quintessential Wolverine film with Logan, as it will finally be released on March 3, 2017.

[Featured Image by 20th Century Fox]