James Mangold post-credits scenes

Post-credit scenes have become a big deal for comic book film fans, but there’s one comic book movie director who wants no part of them. Logan filmmaker James Mangold recently took some time to express his thoughts on the post-credit craze, and let’s just say he didn’t pull any punches.

Comic book movies didn’t invent post-credit scenes, but they’ve certainly made them popular. Ever since Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury showed up at the end of Iron Man to talk about the Avengers Initiative, comic book movies (especially of the Marvel variety) have been following the lead and adding their own post-credit scenes. Sometimes, these films will even have multiple post-credit moments. But there’s one filmmaker who wants none of it: James Mangold, the director of the Oscar-nominated Logan. During the 2018 Writers Guild Association panel (via CinemaBlend), Mangold didn’t mince words as he laid into the concept of post-credit scenes:

“The idea of making a movie that would fucking embarrass me, that’s part of the anesthetizing of this country or the world. That’s further confirming what they already know and tying in with other fucking products and selling them the next movie while you’re making this movie, and kind of all that shit that I find really fucking embarrassing. Like, that audiences are actually asking for scenes in end credits when those scenes were first developed for movies that suck, so they put something extra at the end to pick up the scores when the movie couldn’t end right on its own fucking feet.”

That wasn’t all the filmmaker said. Later, Mangold went so far as to call end-credits scenes “fucking embarrassing,” and added that he considers the use of them to be cheating:

“Now we’ve actually gotten audiences addicted to a fucking bonus in the credits. It’s fucking embarrassing. It means you couldn’t land your fucking movie is what it means. Even if you got 100,000 Twitter addicts who are gambling on what fucking scene is going to happen after the fucking credits it’s still cheating. It’s just cheating, but there’s all sorts of bad habits like that that fucking horrify me, man, that have become de rigueur in the way we make movies and I think the fear of being one of them that did that end then everyone’s patting me on the back and I feel like shit inside because I know I cheated, is probably the greatest thing that scares the shit out of me.”

I’m sure people will disagree, but I don’t think Mangold is wrong here. While I personally don’t have as angry a reaction to post-credit scenes as he seems to, I also don’t consider them essential, and more often than not I’ll exit the theater long before post-credit scenes have even started. In my humble opinion, if a scene is truly important, it should be in the movie, not after the credits. I distinctly remember that when Logan was released, several fans were upset that the film failed to have a post-credit scene – preferably one involving Deadpool. That’s a terrible idea! Logan‘s ending is pitch-perfect, and incredibly emotional. To tack on a post-credit scene with Deadpool making boner jokes would destroy that.

It’s worth noting that for all his distaste of post-credit scenes, Mangold has used one before. The Mangold-directed sequel The Wolverine had a post-credit scene that set-up events for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Perhaps that one post-credit scene was enough for Mangold’s entire career, and turned him off doing them completely going forward. Or maybe it was forced on him by the studio, hence his distaste.

All that said, if you love post-credit scenes, that’s a-okay! Keep on enjoying them. At the very least, post-credit scenes give audiences an excuse to sit and watch the credits, which in turn provides a chance of recognition for all the hard-working people involved with the film in question. That’s certainly not a bad thing.

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