Earlier this month, superhero fans flocked to theaters when Hugh Jackman reprised his role as the Wolverine one last time. The Australian lead has played the grumpy X-Men for more than a decade, and the star gracefully bowed out of the franchise with Patrick Stewart through Logan. The ultra-violent flick bid farewell to the mutant in a somber fashion, and its Western style reinvigorated an increasingly homogenous film genre.
For many moviegoers, superhero films have become a run-of-the-mill affair. They may have thrilled fans back in 2008 when Iron Man was new and The Dark Knight trilogy was all the rage. But, in recent years, studios like Marvel and DC have been taken to task over their so-called cookie cutter formulas.
Now, the director of Logan is speaking out about superhero films and their tentpole traits - and he’s not addressing them nicely. In an interview with KCRW, James Mangold explained why he has such an aversion to superhero films. For him, the films are simply too crowded and rushed to flesh out an intriguing story.
“Tentpole movies in general, they are not movies, generally. They are bloated exercises in two-hour trailers for another movie they are going to sell you in two years,” he said.
“There are so many characters that each character gets an arch of about six and a half minutes at best, and I'm not exaggerating. You take 120 minutes, you take 45 of it for action, what are you left with, divide it by six characters, you have the character arc of Elmer Fudd in a Warner Brothers cartoon. That formula is empty for me.”
Of course, Mangold has worked on films which features all sorts of tentpoles. Prior to Logan, the director worked on The Wolverine, a previous solo film featuring Jackman’s character.
Logan currently enjoys an 88.40 score on ComicBook.com's composite rankings, and you can view the official synopsis 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.