Reviews are in for Logan, and the newest R-rated 20th Century Fox production looks like a massive success. Most critics describe the third and final solo film for Hugh Jackman as the titular mutant superhero as a somber but fitting send-off for the character. Deviating from the norm for most comic book movies in recent years, Logan ramps up the violence and deals with complex themes related to aging mutants like the title character and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart).
The outside-the-box nature of Logan has helped make it a critical success, and it is a good bet to deliver a strong return on the investment for Fox. Director James Mangold looks to have crafted a winner with Logan, making the most out of the film’s $127 million budget. A new interview suggests that the film’s success is because Fox, in a somewhat surprising move for a big-budget comic book movie, gave him the artistic freedom to tell Logan’s story as he desired.
Speaking in a new interview with Bad Taste (h/t Comic Book), Mangold commented on the scenes that had to be removed from Logan and how much influence Fox had on what appeared in the final cut. The director confirmed that he had total freedom on the film and only needed to remove scenes to cut down the run time.
“I think there will be a couple of scenes that we trimmed that could appear on the extra scenes on the Blu-ray. But I did get everything [in the film] that I wanted; I didn’t have to lift anything. The studio didn’t say, ‘You have to take that out.’ … But there are some lovely scenes people can look forward to at home.”
Considering Logan’s rampant bloodletting – as well as the film’s emotionally heavy themes described in the review roundup – it should come as no surprise that Mangold ultimately had the final say on its content. Logan is the result of a director exercising artistic freedom and a lead actor delivering an uncompromising performance that serves as the highlight of his X-Men career. Logan’s critical response almost universally praised the film as a comic book movie that practically transcends the genre – and that can be at least partially attributed to Mangold dictating the final cut.
Fox looks to have made a smart decision as a studio to step back and let the director have the final say on how Logan’s story is told. The likely commercial success of Logan, and Deadpool before it, will probably lead to even more R-rated comic book movies. It could also lead to films of varying quality – it’s not just merely the R rating that makes films like Deadpool great. But in the case of Logan, Fox ultimately made the right choice to let Mangold craft the kind of film he wanted to make.