Logan director James Mangold is not a fan of inflated superhero movies

3 min read
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Sometimes bigger isn’t always better. Don’t tell DC and Marvel that though as they increasingly try to shove more superheroes into their movies in an attempt to wow audiences. While it is certainly fun to see a host of your favourite superheroes fight on-screen together for a common cause, often the real meat of a story or character is lost in the approach.

Which is why Logan director James Mangold was happy to focus on only a few characters for the upcoming final Wolverine film, which has received rave reviews thus far, as he shared with Screen Rant:

We toyed with it but one of the things I’ve been very conscious of is that I think one of the reasons a lot of different movies are in the comic book arena these days, is they keep operating from the “more is more” philosophy. If we made a movie last time about four superheroes, this time it’s gonna be seven, next time it’s gonna be twelve. And there’s a kind of arms race in visual effects and cast and I don’t think it necessarily yields more. Do you the math If you have a 120 minutes and you have seven actors with principal roles, then they’re each getting six minutes to themselves, or to their storylines. If you make a movie about two or three characters, the movie is really owned by these characters and you get to go deep with them. That was our goal.

One of my biggest concerns with films like the upcoming Avengers: Infinity war is that there is just simply not going to be enough time to serve individual superheroes justice and it could lead to a film that leaves cinemagoers more underwhelmed with its characters than awed by their abilities. In fact, over the past few years, some of the best superhero films have actually been the ones which didn’t feature too many leading characters (Doctor Strange and Deadpool for instance.)

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There is a place for ensembles though, which Avengers proved is a formula that can work. Studios need to just be wary of over-doing it and find what the sweet-spot might be in terms of how many characters you can throw at these films before they become overwhelming.

Having a focused story telling approach with Logan does make a lot of sense, as we get to explore the emotional turmoil that over a hundred years of life and war, along with fading powers can do to you. While there are some superheroes that we feel might not require a movie of their own, someone as layered as Wolverine definitely needed his own trilogy.

Last Updated: February 22, 2017

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Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

  • CodeDisQus

    He speaks the truth! Although I still rate that all a movie needs is a solid script and some good directing and you can have as many or as few heroes as you need and the story will be fine. Civil War is a perfect example, While not every character got an extended cut into their story, they got enough for their role. That movie was mainly about Cap and Iron man and they got plenty of that, which makes sense.

    Either way I’m seriously glad that we can get both types of movies made at a high level of quality!

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