James Mangold breaks down that fantastic first trailer for Logan
With the release of the first trailer for James Mangold's LOGAN this morning, the final Wolverine film starring Hugh Jackman suddenly feels much more real. This is it; he's been with us for over fifteen years, but LOGAN will finally complete his story and if that trailer is any indication, it will be one hell of a finale. The trailer gave us quite a lot to absorb and Mangold recently spoke with Empire in order to break down what we've seen and to reveal a little more of what's to come.
Mangold says that LOGAN will take place "in the future" and that "we have passed the point of the epilogue of Days Of Future Past." Despite still taking place in a world of mutants and far-out powers, the characters of LOGAN will find themselves in circumstances that are a little more relatable to the real world. "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."
Wolverine's healing factor has kept him safe from harm for centuries, but Mangold wanted to "make a different Logan, and a different tone of a Wolverine movie," which meant figuring out how Wolverine's abilities would be affected in his old age. "We questioned whether Logan’s healing factor causes him to heal without even a scar. 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."
Despite being played to death in just about everything, Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt" was used very effectively in the LOGAN trailer. James Mangold has a "connection and a fondness for Johnny Cash" but the main reason they decided to use the song was 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."
I suspect that we'll be seeing more in future trailers, but the international red-band trailer offered a short glimpse at the movies R-rated action. "[This represents] to me the kind of aggressive, classical Wolverine action that we want in the movie – more of something that fans have been asking for, for a really long time. We’ve been limited in one way or another from giving it to them, 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."
When it came to framing the shots for LOGAN, Mangold didn't think so much about comic-book style framings, but instead took his influence from "film noir framings and classic Hollywood filmmaking styles, German expressionist filmmaking style of the early part of the last century, which has a lot in common with comic-book art. Strong foregrounds, playing things in depth: you have to make an image say more within that one image. In modern filmmaking everything’s in close-up, so every scene there’s 150 cuts to keep track of what’s going on with every element. I’m trying on this film to set frames that are, in some way, descriptive and yes, are kind of evocative of comic-book panels and also for me classical filmmaking." That's certainly nice to hear. As for whose funeral Logan is attending, Mangold wouldn't say.
Ultimately Mangold believes LOGAN is "about family, and sticking together, and about making connections in a world in which our characters might feel very alone." Jackman and Mangold definitely want to deliver something special with their final Wolverine film, and, based upon that trailer, they've successfully got my hopes up. LOGAN is set for a March 3, 2017 release.
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