Logan Highlights Character Drama Over Spectacle, Says Director

Director James Mangold reveals that his upcoming R-rated comic book film Logan will include more character drama than action.

Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in Logan

While there was recent speculation that Ryan Reynolds' titular character from the mega hit comic adaptation Deadpool would appear in Hugh Jackman's upcoming Logan film, Reynolds quickly shot down such rumors. The actor elaborated, claiming the character would not mix very well with the tone that director James Mangold was shooting for with Logan. Early reaction to footage seems to suggest that Reynolds is not wrong in his reasoning, describing a film that's more akin to westerns than modern comic book blockbuster action films.

While it's still entirely possible that fans will one day get that Wolverine and Deadpool team-up film, Logan is clearly not designed to be that film. Now, Mangold has revealed in great detail exactly what his intentions were while making his second Wolverine-based film (it's also the first R-rated Wolverine movie), and it's clear the filmmaker wanted to try something profoundly different this time around.

During a recent interview with Flicks And The City (via Comic Book), Mangold elaborated that Logan will focus much more on character drama rather than elaborate action set pieces and spectacle. He also claimed more special effects-driven comic films are just interested in moving from one major action scene to the next, but he is much more interested in making a drama. For Mangold's full thoughts on what type of film Logan will be, read below:

"Spectacle is not enough. ... The thing we're trying to do 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 characters. 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 through feeling real. Really feeling human or feeling intimate."

Hugh Jackman in Logan

Given that Logan is (at this point, anyway) supposed to be Jackman's final solo outing as Wolverine, constructing a film that's not shackled by the familiar comic book action tropes seems like a smart move for Mangold. With the movie supposedly borrowing somewhat from the oft-praised comic Old Man Logan, which focuses on a much older iteration of the character fighting in a world taken over by supervillians and featuring a pacifist Wolverine with a dark secret, it's easy to imagine Mangold constructing a highly dramatic affair that will resonate with fans. With an R-rating as well, it will be easy to show the brutality of the near-future world that Logan inhabits, though it's unclear if Jackman's Wolverine will adapt any sort of pacifistic attitude like his comic counterpart (the trailer doesn't seem to indicate that this will be the case).

Still, Mangold's intentions and what the finished product actually ends up being are two separate beasts, and sometimes studio interference can warp a director's intended vision over what the finished product should be. However, given how little Fox supposedly interfered in Deadpool and how hugely successful that film turned out to be, combined with the studio's willingness to slap the risky R-rating on Logan, perhaps Mangold will actually get to see his vision of a dramatic western-inspired Wolverine movie through to the end.

Source: Flicks And The City [via Comic Book]

Key Release Dates
  • Logan (2017) release date: Mar 03, 2017
  • Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
Two New Star Trek Films Officially In Development