Mangold Talks “Logan” Timeline And Tone

In the wake of this morning’s trailer release for “Logan,” filmmaker James Mangold has walked through the clip with the folks at Empire and revealed some new details about this third and final solo Wolverine movie.

The film is set indeed set after the epilogue of “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” but wouldn’t confirm why mutantkind was dying out. Showcasing them in their final days though gives him a big opportunity to differ from the previous films – especially in terms of being more grounded:

“We’re finding all these characters in circumstances that are a little more real. The questions of ageing, of loneliness, of where I belong. Am I still useful to the world? I saw it as an opportunity. We’ve seen these characters in action, saving the universe. But what happens when you’re in retirement and that career is over? The really interesting thing to me, or a place to dig that hadn’t been dug, was the idea of mutants when they’re no longer useful to the world, or even sure if they can do what they used to do. Their powers are diminished like all of ours are by age. I think this movie is about family, and sticking together, and about making connections in a world in which our characters might feel very alone.”

A key element of that is the use of Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt. Mangold, who has experience with Cash having made the biopic “Walk The Line,” says it was a deliberate choice:

“Obviously I have a connection and a fondness for Johnny Cash, and his tone and his message and his music. But the real driver in all these decisions is trying to separate ourselves, in an accurate way, from the other superhero movies. We think we’re going to deliver something a little different and we want to make sure we’re selling audiences on the difference. Sometimes even when a movie’s a little different, the studio’s trying to market the movie just like all the others. [Cash’s] music, in a way, separates us from the standard, bombastic, brooding orchestral, swish-bang, doors opening and slamming, explosions kind of methodology of some of these movies.”

He did discuss the scars on Wolverine’s face saying the healing factor of the character has diminished, but still works:

“We imagined that it may have when he was younger, but with age, he’s getting older and ailing. Perhaps his healing factor no longer produces baby-soft skin. So we imagined he heals quickly, still, but it leaves a scar. The simple idea was that his body would start to get a little more ravaged with a kind of tattooing of past battles, lacerations that remain of previous conflicts.”

Mangold won’t confirm if newcomer Dafne Keane’s role is that of X-23 from the comics (a young female clone of Wolverine), saying:

“I think I will just let speculation run rampant about that. I think what this film is about in many ways is family. From there out I’d let everyone figure out what we’re up to on their own, at least at this early stage.”

Talking about the R-rated violence, Mangold says the film finally gives fans the Wolverine movie they’ve been asking for:

“We’ve been limited in one way or another from giving it to them [the fans], but I think we’ve got the go-ahead to really go for it on this picture. So we’re really trying to deliver what folks have always imagined those kind of battles would look like. There is a lot of high-octane action in the movie. We’re just trying to do it very differently and very viscerally.”

“Logan” opens in cinemas on March 3rd 2017.