In the 17 years since the first “X-Men” film arrived in theaters, superhero movies have gradually upped the number of costumed characters included in each film. Many superhero films in the first part of the ’00s focused on either a superhero or a superhero team. That was also the case for the first phase of the Marvel Studios films, but things have been kicked up a notch recently. Films like “Captain America: Civil War” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” feature tons of heroes, and the X-Men franchise has stepped up their game as well. Both “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” featured multiple teams of mutants forming massive casts.
That’s not the case with the latest mutant movie, though. “Logan,” by comparison, is an intimate affair. In addition to the lead mutant, the main cast includes Professor X (Patrick Stewart), X-23 (Dafne Keen) and Caliban (Stephen Merchant). While talking with Screen Rant, co-writer and director James Mangold revealed that “Logan’s” cast was kept small on purpose.
“We toyed with [including other characters] but one of the things I’ve been very conscious of is that I think one of the reasons a lot of different movies are in the comic book arena these days, is they keep operating from the ‘more is more’ philosophy,” said Mangold. “If we made a movie last time about four superheroes, this time it’s gonna be seven, next time it’s gonna be twelve. And there’s a kind of arms race in visual effects and cast and I don’t think it necessarily yields more. Do the math: If you have a 120 minutes and you have seven actors with principal roles, then they’re each getting six minutes to themselves, or to their storylines. If you make a movie about two or three characters, the movie is really owned by these characters and you get to go deep with them. That was our goal.”
This is just one way “Logan” has proven itself to be different from other superhero films — a move that has so far been praised by critics.
Set beyond the events of “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” 2017’s “Logan” is set in the near future following a cataclysmic event that ravaged the mutant race. As a result, Wolverine’s healing factor will be greatly diminished. It will also be Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine, and will introduce Dafne Keen as the character’s teenage clone X-23.
Directed by James Mangold, written by Michael Green, Scott Frank, James Mangold and David James Kelly, and starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Dafne Keen and Stephen Merchant, “Logan” arrives in theaters on March 3.
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