We're not 100% sure on which X-Men timeline James Mangold's Logan currently sits. Trying to figure it out would give Professor X a migraine... and the presence of Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier alone makes the discussion confusing. But can you imagine how much more baffling Logan could have been if numerous X-Men from various timelines were part of the plot? But that's not the only reason why Mangold fought to avoid cluttering his second Wolverine movie -- and Hugh Jackman's last ride with the character -- with spandex-clad mutant heroes. During a recent, exclusive conversation we had with Mangold, he explained to CinemaBlend:
A movie is only so many minutes, right? Like, 120 minutes, minus credits, let's say -- or without credits. And let's just say [that] of those minutes, if you spend 30 of them describing what someone's doing and why they're doing it and where the technology came from and why the... that stuff is all interesting. But at a certain point, it's not what we remember about films. What we remember about films is how they move us.
And that 120 minutes, when you're making a movie with six, seven mutants or six, seven superheroes, these kind of gangbang movies that are kind of the rage right now, the reality of them is that -- very much like the comic books each character gets -- if you make a seven-person movie, you take those 120 minutes. You divide it by seven. Now, each character has, like, an eight-minute arc. They effectively each have the character development of a Warner Brothers' cartoon.
So the reality is that it's not really about whether the filmmakers are better or worse, or the writing is better or worse. It's once you make these decisions, the real estate has gotten subdivided so heavily that there really is only so much left to go deeper. I really wanted scenes where there wasn't a visual effect in sight, where it was just the power of the acting and the power of these characters that carried them.
Logan is not, as James Mangold words it, a superhero gangbang movie. It's laser focused on the latest journey of its title hero, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), who happens -- through a series of circumstances -- to be in charge of two very different mutants: an ailing Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart); and a young Laura (Dafne Keen). The X-Men are a thing of the past, for reasons I won't get into here. And the emphasis stays on Logan, so we can emotionally invest in his gripping journey... and his, alone.
Logan basically learns its lessons from the mistakes of its predecessors -- particularly X-Men: Origins -- Wolverine. That film forced in references for Deadpool, Sabertooth, Cyclops, Gambit, The Blob and more... though none of them really made any sense. They had, as James Mangold tells it, "the character development of a Warner Brothers' cartoon." Nailed it.
Logan is much better. Find out for yourself when the movieopens in theaters on March 3.