‘Logan’ Director James Mangold Questions Wisdom Of Marvel Cinematic Universe

Logan director James Mangold is once again helming a feature with the adamantium-clawed one as lead, but he’s not completely on board with what the rest of Marvel is doing in the film world.

After handling directing chores on The Wolverine in 2013, Mangold stepped away from the character for four years, but came back to him with his very next feature.

The purpose with Logan is to wrap up the mutant’s story once and for all. Whether or not it does remains to be seen. Regardless, Mangold may not be getting any offers to jump over from Sony and direct any Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films.

And going by an interview with Vice, it’s unlikely that he would want to. In a lengthy piece for the site, interviewer Larry Fitzmaurice discussed with Mangold the limitations of the superhero movie, and the Logan director had this to say, specifically about the MCU.

“I question the wisdom of [the Marvel cinematic universe] in general. One thing everyone’s concerned about is the creativity and quality of these kinds of movies — and if that’s the case, then it seems to me that the first order of business would be figuring out why they’re not more interesting or exciting.”

Mangold went on to theorize that freedom was the primary drawback of working within that universe, mostly because fans and the internet culture surrounding them “put a lot of stress on continuity, and the idea that you should be able to cut these movies into one continuous, nine-hour Berlin Alexanderplatz of comic book–dom.”

While Mangold did not find anything wrong with liking that type of film, he acknowledged it was tough from the director’s standpoint, calling it a “restraint system” where the director is “trying to figure out how to get out.”

He continued.

“Having made one of these movies already [The Wolverine], it occurred to me that the way to get out is to build a movie that functions for anyone, not just people who have seen the other movies. You have to let go of whatever you need to let go of to make the movie function, in the same way that every comic-book artist in the history of comic books has let go of what their predecessors did.”

Mangold concluded that fans would be happier with superhero movies if they allowed filmmakers to treat it like Shakespeare, “where we invite directors to take [the material] wherever they want, and then we judge them by the results.”

Criticism of mainstream superhero movies has occurred with frequency in the last year, but that’s nothing new. Going back to 2010, sites like Unreality Magazine were declaring that the genre had peaked, yet seven years later, they are still one of the major economic engines of Hollywood.

With the inevitable success of Logan at the box office — Box Office Mojo is already projecting it to take the No. 1 slot — the pace is unlikely to slow.

However, by Mangold’s admission in the Vice interview, calling Logan a superhero film doesn’t paint the full picture. While the character does originate from the pages of Marvel Comics, Mangold’s rendition this time around is like a “really bloody version of Little Miss Sunshine.”

Other influences on the film that Mangold has cited are Paper Moon and the classic western Shane. In the interview, he identifies Logan as more of a western — a genre he has previous experience with in 3:10 to Yuma and, to a lesser degree, Cop Land.

So what about you, readers? Have you seen Logan yet? What were your thoughts, and how does it compare to other standard superhero movies? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by Sony Pictures]

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