Logan director James Mangold is doubling down on his criticism of the reliance by superhero movies on post-credit scenes, while also drawing Easter eggs into the argument.
The filmmaker successfully brought to a close Hugh Jackman’s 17-year run as Wolverine with Logan, earning widespread acclaim and an Academy Award nomination in the process. However, there’s little denying that the movie is a departure for the genre, even eschewing the end-credits scenes that have become part and parcel of superhero features.
Mangold drew criticism following his initial comments last week at the 2018 Writers Guild Association Beyond Words Panel. Taking to Twitter to continue his “diatribe,” he didn’t back down. Instead, he expanded his critique:
1/ Many folks commented on my diatribe re: end credits scenes. Good points made by some who disagree. My vehemence comes from a belief these scenes r cinematic MSG/crack. Of course they feel good. They are designed to do that, like ads, as they hook you to buy the next film/s…
— Mangold (@mang0ld) February 4, 2018
Describing post-credit scenes and Easter eggs as “cinematic MSG/Crack,” he argued they are sometimes better than the movie itself. He went on to say that some directors cheapen their works with a lackluster ending, and then try to redeem it with the lure of what’s to come in the next film. Adding to list of pet peeves, Mangold described Easter eggs as “infantile,” likening audiences to “kids jumping around trying to guess storylines from breadcrumbs dropped by corporations.”
Considering that Logan felt removed from most of the superhero films that came before, it’s perhaps easy to see where Mangold is coming from. Logan was a gritty picture, inspired by film noir and Westerns, and didn’t require the character to be clad in Spandex, and would have been lessened by a post-credits stinger previewing the next release in Fox’s X-Men franchise.
And yet, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the highest-grossing movie franchise of all time. Its formula, which directly led to the current popularity of end-credits scenes, clearly works for the studio, and its fans. While post-credit scenes are nothing new, it was the reveal of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in 2008’s Iron Man that got the ball rolling. Looking at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there were a staggering five post-credit scenes that ranged from being crucial to the next film to just being a bit of fun. Mangold’s comments are sure to continue making waves in some circles, but when you have a film that’s as well-received as Logan, you can probably afford to ruffle a few feathers.
Mangold, whose credits also include Cop Land, Girl, Interrupted, 3:10 to Yuma and The Wolverine, shares Logan‘s Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay with co-writers Scott Frank and Michael Green. The winners of the 90th Academy Awards will be announced March 4 in a ceremony broadcast live on ABC.
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