You wouldn't necessarily peg something so inherently hopeful as Superman: The Movie as inspiring to something like Logan, but the iconic film did influence the central themes at play in more ways than you think.
In a recent interview with Empire Online (via CBR), director James Mangold recalls how a number of properties influenced his latest Wolverine film, including Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie. Logan, which currently holds an 88.59 score on ComicBook.com's composite rankings, has been heralded by critics and fans for its mature story and gritty tone, but the more humanizing elements came from elsewhere.
“I think it’s something Neil Gaiman played with so beautifully in the original ‘Sandman:’ these are literally gods but they’re having fraternal squabbles. It’s like ‘Hannah And Her Sisters,’ but with gods. I think that’s humanizing. Richard Donner’s ‘Superman’ was extremely human to me – a different tone to ‘Logan’ by far, but still. Those beautifully-written scenes by Robert Benton between him and Lois Lane on the terrace, the beautiful humanity and simplicity of those scenes, and the lyrical joy of being swept in the air by a god who also happens to have a crush on [her], the contradictions in all of that are beautiful to me.”
While the film deals with mutants and contains more than its share of violence, at the center is a very human story of legacy and hope. That is certainly something that Logan has in common with big blue.
You can find the description for Logan below.
Logan takes place in the year 2024, where mutant births have become extremely rare. The defenders of mutant kind, the X-Men, are long gone, and the only remains of them are an old and struggling Charles Xavier and a weary Logan. Logan's vaunted healing factor has slowed, and at times doesn't seem to work at all. When a young mutant needs his help, Logan has to unsheathe his claws once more. His job isn't over yet.
Logan stars Hugh Jackman (Logan), Boyd Holbrook (Donald Pierce), Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier), Dafne Keen (Laura Kinney/X-23), Doris Morgado (Maria), Stephen Merchant (Caliban), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Gabriela), and Richard E. Grant (Dr. Zander Rice). James Mangold is directing and helped on the screenplay along with Scott Frank and Michael Green.
Logan is now playing in theaters.