In a year of game changers at the box office from Baby Driver‘s action ballet to DC breaking through finally with a superhero that women could stand behind in Wonder Woman, Logan took superhero movies to another sphere with its level of grit, and mature themes.
Yes, true, we had Deadpool, but that movie played into the hilarity and hijinks of Ryan Reynolds’ leotard character. Logan showed a graying, mature side –arguably a reality– to a world if the saber-clowed Wolverine was living in it.
At a recent Awardsline screening, star Hugh Jackman, director James Mangold and producer Hutch Parker discussed with Deadline senior editor Dominic Patten how they never saw Logan as a superhero movie, but a heroic movie.
“I don’t think there is anything as superhero genre, and if there is, it’s a pretty sucky genre,” Mangold told Patten.
“There’s fantasy films and heroic films like Ben Hur, The Dark Knight, the story of Jesus Christ and Gladiator; all are stories about heroes. The idea that we’ve gotten into we’re trying to make a movie that fits an idea of a comic book movie has produced stagnant movies. The movies are about selling other movies beyond themselves, they’re about merchandising more than a movie experience.”
Mangold and Parker explain that Fox was largely supportive of making a rough Wolverine movie, however, there was some push back from marketing over leaving X-Men and Wolverine out of the title; that money was bound to be left on the table (Logan was the best performer out of the Wolverine trilogy with over $616M at the global box office, and even grossed more than other X-Men titles).
“Leaving money on the table has nothing to do with making a good film,” exclaimed Mangold.
The director also expounded on how next to TV series like HBO’s Games of Thrones which is “like NC-17”, certain movies are getting a short-shrift in their theatrical release from the MPAA ratings board when there’s far more product on TV that’s even more severe than what we’re seeing on the big screen.