James Mangold has never been one to shy away from voicing criticisms. After co-writing and directing the critical and commercial hit Logan, Mangold has earned enough street cred among film fans that he is allowed to have a hot take or two. However, his recent rant about post-credits scenes needs to be addressed. You see, not only is James Mangold’s take on the scenes controversial, it’s also just flat-out wrong.
“Now we've actually gotten audiences addicted to a fucking bonus in the credits," Mangold said. "It's fucking embarrassing. It means you couldn't land your fucking movie is what it means. Even if you got 100,000 Twitter addicts who are gambling on what fucking scene is going to happen after the fucking credits it's still cheating.”
Let’s just get this out of the way first: Kudos for Mangold for having the confidence to speak his mind and throw diplomacy out the window. It’s refreshing to see this in an industry where creators are so scared to offend the wrong people. Unfortunately, in this case, Mangold is just wrong.
Yes, They’re Ads And That’s Okay!
Mangold has spoken about post-credits scenes before. In an interview ahead of Logan’s release, Mangold discussed what he wanted to do different for his film. “If there’s normally a cameo or an end-credit scene, we’re not doing that," he said. "That’s essentially turning it into a product that has to come out of the widget machine the same way every time and that’s not how the best movies are going to get made … in any genre.
“And really, what are those scenes but ads for another movie?” he continued. “We were trying to make a movie that begun and ended on its own terms. There was nothing else to say, because we had said it.”
There’s no denying that the scenes shown during and after a comic book film’s credits serve one purpose – advertisement. These scenes are supposed to get fans excited for the next installment in their favorite film franchise. But that doesn’t make them inherently bad or “embarrassing.”
The bottom line is, the idea that a 15 second stinger at the end of the credits somehow detracts from the main film is just silly. Would you say that the quality of The Avengers was hurt by its Thanos reveal or the schwarma scene at the end? Of course not! Was there anyone that left the theater before those scenes played and thought they missed a major part of the film? No.
If you left the moment the credits began, you would have seen a complete story, and judging by the box office receipts, you would have left a very happy customer. Those two scenes at the end just hinted at what’s to come. And you know what? They're not only fun for fans, they're completely harmless to the film preceding it.