Claws out: Logan director has a problem with modern superhero movies

Claws out, bub: Logan director James Mangold isn’t afraid to give his honest opinion about superhero movies.

In an interview with KCRW, the filmmaker expressed his scorn for many of the biggest, most expensive movies coming out of Hollywood right now. “Tentpole movies in general, they are not movies, generally. They are bloated exercises in two-hour trailers for another movie they are going to sell you in two years,” he said. Mangold is taking direct aim at Marvel Studios and DC Films with that comment. Marvel has popularized the concept of the post-credits scene that often teases their next movie, and DC decided to stop Batman v Superman so Wonder Woman could scroll through mini-teasers for Justice League.

But he wasn’t finished railing against these types of films. “There are so many characters that each character gets an arc of about six and a half minutes at best, and I'm not exaggerating. You take 120 minutes, you take 45 of it for action, what are you left with, divide it by six characters, you have the character arc of Elmer Fudd in a Warner Brothers cartoon. That formula is empty for me.”

Whew, my fingers are hot just from typing that burn. Mangold has been around long enough to navigate the waters of studio filmmaking, and he’s praised 20th Century Fox for letting him make the movie he wanted to make without forcing it to tick off any of the formulaic boxes you see in many of today’s superhero movies. The director sees Logan as more of a Western than a superhero film, and anyone else who has seen it will likely agree. Either way, I’m glad Mangold is speaking out, because it’s always refreshing to hear a filmmaker’s uninhibited thoughts instead of trying to read between the lines and figure out what they really think. There’s no mistaking what Mangold really thinks here: the approach to lots of modern superhero films could use an overhaul.

Logan is in theaters now.

Images: 20th Century Fox

Ben Pearson
Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.