By now, it is well established that Logan is going to be something different for the comic book movie genre. Director James Mangold approached the project as a gritty, character-driven Western, going as far as to give the film an R-rating to ensure it could be seen as an “adult movie” that just so happens to star Wolverine and Charles Xavier. Based on the positive reactions to the movie’s marketing materials, it’s safe to say that many are excited to see what the creative team has in store and Logan has rightfully earned a spot on many most-anticipated lists.
With the glut of superhero movies opening these days, viewers have become accustomed to big-scale stories that involve the protagonist (or team of heroes) trying to save the world from a major, catastrophic event. The third acts of several comic book films rely heavily on an abundance of special effects and fantastical action, but Mangold had something far less bombastic in mind for Logan. He wanted to strip things down and make them more grounded.
In an interview with Cinema Blend, the director explained why he strayed away from including the villain Mr. Sinister, who is also known as Nathaniel Essex of Essex Corp. In the comics, that company created the female Wolverine clone X-23 – a key character in Logan. But Sinister won’t have a role in the films (for now, anyway):
“Now that you’ve seen some of the movie, I think [what] you get a better sense of is, that’s exactly the kind of thing this movie avoids. Meaning, the kind of operatic highly-costumed, stroboscopic villainy… that’s not in this movie. Everything is kind of as real as we can make it. The movie is trying to kind of take a step backward from that kind of spectacle, so that we get another kind of gain, you know. There’s that loss, but the gain is that the movie feels extremely real and is — as one person who saw the film said to me, ‘I feel like I could go down the street and run into that Wolverine.’ Meaning that this is in my world, not some shiny other world. This is actually taking place in my world.”
With two trailers that very much enforce a real-world aesthetic, it certainly would be out-of-place if the extravagantly costumed Mr. Sinister served as the primary antagonist. Logan is shaping up to be a more boots-on-the-ground superhero movie, so it’s a better fit to have Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) be the overarching “big bad” with Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) leading the pursuit to find X-23. Of course, Logan will still have the genre thrills that fans crave (see: Wolverine slicing up enemies with his claws), but an inherently smaller-scale story shouldn’t feel forced to have a more “powerful” threat looming over the proceedings. Mangold has a strong vision for the film, and Fox was willing to give him the freedom to do what he wanted.
Hopefully, this will yield a new kind of comic book movie that stands out from the crowd. In a year that sees three Marvel Cinematic Universe installments and two major entries in the DC Extended Universe, Mangold deserves credit for not simply following typical genre conventions and trying something new. Mixing things up certainly helped Deadpool find tremendous success (including unexpected awards nominations), so Fox could be on to something here. Logan has a lot of potential to be something very special, and after the first act received raves across the board, many can’t wait to see the full movie.
Source: Cinema Blend