The new trailer for Logan surprised many fans, in a very pleasant way and nobody sums up why better than the film’s director himself, James Mangold, in an interview with Empire which he says the choice of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” to score it, instantly makes it stand out from the “standard, bombastic, brooding orchestral, swish-bang, doors opening and slamming, explosions kind of methodology of some of these movies.”
The song does that superbly, set against images of the mutant who once used to be able to heal himself instantly now covered in scars. Although there’s action in the trailer, there far more of a concentration on character and emotional intensity; this was, says Mangold, always the intention.
“Hugh and I have been talking about what we would do since we were working on the last one, and for both of us it was this requirement that, to be even interested in doing it, we had to free ourselves from some assumptions that had existed in the past, and be able to change the tone a bit. Not merely to change for change’s sake, but also to make something that’s speaking to the culture now, that’s not just the same style — how many times can they save the world in one way or another? How can we construct a story that’s built more on character and character issues, in a way as if it almost wasn’t a superhero movie, yet it features their powers and struggles and themes?”
And so now we have a Wolverine who is no longer invincible.
“One of the things we all thought about as we worked on this film is, well, we don’t want to rebuild everything. We want to have some questions. In order to make a different Logan, and a different tone of a Wolverine movie, we felt like we couldn’t hold on to every tradition established in all the movies religiously, or we’d be trapped by the decisions made before us. So 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.”
As for the timeline of the film:
“We are in the future, we have passed the point of the epilogue of Days Of Future Past,” teases Mangold. “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.”
Mangold also promises that the R-rating has meant he can deliver, “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.”
Having said that, gore isn’t the core of this film. “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.”