It took just one trailer for Hugh Jackman’s final turn as Wolverine in ‘Logan’ to go from being a film many struggled to get excited about, to one they couldn’t wait to see.
The film is unlike any superhero movie before it. Essentially a western, it’s grisly, astoundingly mature and director James Mangold can’t believe he got to make it. Ahead of the film’s release this week, Mangold spoke to Uproxx about the film critics have been heaping praise on.
“Myself and my collaborators – particularly in the cutting room; a lot of the people I’ve worked with for many movies – we all sat watching this movie in the last stages of the cut and said we can’t believe we got away with this,” he said.
“All of us recognise that the movie feels, to us, very personal, very intimate, very handcrafted.
“I mean, let’s put it another way, which was quite intentional: I was not coming back, nor was Hugh Jackman, to make a kind of artifact that exists to both continue a kind of DVD suite that they sell every year in a package. To move toys and t-shirts, and to kind of just facilitate the further marketing of a franchise.”
The film is clearly a passion project of both Mangold’s and Jackman’s, who worked together on previous ‘X-Men’ spin-off ‘The Wolverine’ in 2013.
While more conventional than ‘Logan’, even that spin-off was different to most superhero films. For example its Japanese setting led to large chunks of it being in a foreign language. You don’t get that in Batman.
When Uproxx brought this up, Mangold replied: “Yes, and that it gave me some freedom from the main X-Men saga by taking him into this circumscribed universe. And that, in many ways – even the idea of including the Silver Samurai, of doing a kind of fever dream – was all appealing to me.
“But after that movie, this movie [‘Logan’] existed as a complete blank when we finished ‘The Wolverine’. No one knew where we were going next or even whether we were going to make another one.
“So, for me, the idea of kind of taking this from ‘Old Man Logan’ and this from Craig Kyle and the ‘X-23’ comics. And then from my own imagination – this idea that you have Charles and Logan existing in this kind of twilight with Charles having a degenerative brain disease – all that seemed really exciting.
“And I just wrote it all out in about 50 pages and brought it to the studio and to Hugh, and everyone was excited.”
‘Logan’ follows an aging Wolverine, whose regenerative powers are dwindling and Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier, who is losing control of his mind. The pair end up looking after a young girl called Laura (Dafne Keen), a clone of Wolverine.
The film also stars Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E Grant and will be released tomorrow (1 March) in the UK.