Get excited, Cop Land fans, because director James Mangold is making another cop movie. After knocking Logan far out of the ballpark, Mangold has lined up his next project: an adaptation of Don Winslow‘s (The Cartel) upcoming novel, The Force. Stephen King called Winslow’s latest – a story about corrupt cops in New York City – “The Godfather, only with cops. It’s that good.”
Here’s what we know.
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When it comes to the X-Men franchise, this year’s Logan and last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse are completely on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Logan is a much more intimate, grounded character piece while X-Men: Apocalypse other is a loud, bright, hollow tentpole. However, they do have one thing in common: the mutant known as Caliban.
In X-Men: Apocalypse, Caliban is played by Tómas Lemarquis, and he’s seen working as a black market dealer who helps Mystique find Nightcrawler. The film is set in 1983, but 46 years later Caliban is played by Stephen Merchant and he’s a timid recluse living with Logan as one of the last remaining mutants and helping him take care of Professor X. So how is this possible? Logan director James Mangold has an explanation, but you’re not going to like it.
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Logan doesn’t need to say anything about the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Jean Grey’s (Famke Janssen) relationship. It was a substantial part of the X-Men series and the character’s past, but James Mangold‘s film isn’t too interested in the past or future of the X-Men franchise. The story of Logan doesn’t need to reference a relationship resolved in The Wolverine. Grey, however, was initially mentioned by Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in a deleted exchange between him and Logan.
Below, learn why Mangold cut the Logan Jean Grey deleted scene (SPOILERS below).
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Right from the start of Logan, it’s obvious James Mangold‘s film isn’t your average superhero movie. Putting aside the R-rating the filmmaker doesn’t waste, there’s also the fact that comic book heroes rarely look as broken and feel as real as Hugh Jackman does in his final outing as the beloved mutant. The story isn’t about a hero who saves the day; it’s about a man who desperately needs saving.
The unconventional comic book movie, which is always more interested in its three central characters than hurrying up to the next set piece, is co-written by Mangold, Michael Green (American Gods), and Scott Frank. Frank is the writer behind two knockout Elmore Leonard adaptations, the director of The Lookout and A Walk Among the Tombstones, and the author behind Shaker.
We recently spoke with Frank about Logan, his novel, and more after he wrapped shooting his western Netflix series, Godless. We’ll be sharing more from our conversation with the writer-director in the coming days, but in the meantime, you can read our spoiler discussion about Mangold’s film below.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: James Mangold’s Logan.)
There has never been a superhero movie like Logan.
Paced like a ’70s drama, styled like a classic western, and powered by characters rather than action, director James Mangold has concluded the saga of Hugh Jackman‘s Wolverine with a powerful pop rather than an empty bang. Like the very different Deadpool, this is a superhero movie, an X-Men movie, that is beholden only to itself. It has shrugged off its masters and is all the better for it.
And while most superhero movies dwell on surface pleasures, Logan offers meat to chew on. Bloody and bitter meat, but meat thoughtfully and carefully prepared. Let’s take a deep dive into what makes Logan so special and so different.
Spoilers head, of course.
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When Logan begins, you feel like you’ve missed about five movies worth of story and that’s entirely by design. The last time we saw the X-Men, they were wearing cool costumes and jet-setting around the globe and battling super villains. And now, the man once known as the Wolverine is driving a crappy limo and taking care of an ailing Professor X, living a miserable life where the only goal is buy a boat and get out of the desert. It’s painful. It’s upsetting. And once again, that’s by design.
The backstory, how everyone came to be in this situation, is filled in slowly. Logan is a movie that takes its time, saving information until you absolutely have to know it. One vital piece of backstory, the “Westchester incident,” is eventually explained, albeit vaguely. It turns out that director James Mangold original dwelled on this defining moment a whole lot more.
Spoilers ahead, of course.
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It should come as no surprise that Logan dominated the box office this past weekend. Even with its R-rating, the last outing for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine pulled in $88.4 million, making it the largest R-rated March debut ever. But the movie packs a powerful emotional punch, and while it’s just as good as all the reviews have been saying I’m not sure it’s the kind of movie I’m prepared to enthusiastically watch for a second time so soon.
Then again, taking a second glance at Logan would afford me the opportunity to pick up on any easter eggs or references that are made to both the previous X-Men films and the comic books that inspired them. However, if you don’t have the time to find them yourself, a helpful video is online that runs through a bunch of the Logan easter eggs that can be found. Watch below, but beware of spoilers if you haven’t seen Logan. Read More »
Posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017 by Angie Han
For weeks, the critical buzz on Logan has been that it’s a fitting end to Hugh Jackman‘s 17-year tenure as Wolverine. And now that the film’s actually been out for a few days, and most of you have had a chance to see it, it’s time to talk about how it sends off the iconic superhero character. During a recent press day, I had a chance to sit down with director/co-writer James Mangold and dig deep into the spoilers for this latest and last Wolverine movie.
I won’t say anymore up here, lest I ruin the film for those who haven’t watched it yet. But those of you who have, click through to wade into spoiler territory with Mangold and me. Read More »
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Logan is the last time Hugh Jackman will play Wolverine. That’s been the narrative since the beginning, the chief selling point for a risky, violent, and thoughtful superhero movie that goes out of its way to tear its hero down before giving him one final ride. Come say goodbye to a character we’ve watched for 17 years, Logan asks. That’s enough to get butts in the seats. We’ve come this far, right?
And to the film’s credit, Jackman and director James Mangold have crafted a beautiful, bleak, and merciless farewell to one of the young century’s first cinematic icons. Logan, the Wolverine, James Howlett, whatever he is and whoever he is, doesn’t get the ending he deserves, but rather the ending he needs. (Spoilers from this point on, of course.)
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By now you’ve probably heard how great Logan turned out to be as the swan song for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. One of the film’s strengths is how it basically stands on its own, making only passing references to events and characters from the previous films in the X-Men franchise. In fact, there’s one element to Logan that makes it seem as if all the previous movies may just be exaggerated comic book fiction.
While Logan, Professor X and the young mutant experiment named Laura (aka X-23) are on the run from the dangerous foes of what few mutants are surviving in the world, we learn that the deadly little girl is a fan of X-Men comics. It’s not unlike how Rey and Finn have heard about the stories involving the heroics of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Logan is quick to debunk the stories in the comics, but you can be the judge of that yourself by taking a look at some of their pages.
Check out the Logan X-Men comics created specifically for the film after the jump. Read More »