Looks like James Mangold and Hugh Jackman ruffled a few feathers at 20th Century Fox upon delivering an early cut of Logan.
That’s according to the studio’s film chairman Stacey Snider, who conceded during a recent Q&A session – as relayed by Variety – that a handful of executives at Fox were initially “up in arms” about the movie’s bleak tone and apocalyptic setting. Rather than the “wisecracking, cigar-chomping” anti-hero fans had come to love, the Wolverine we see in Logan is a shell of his former self. Crippled by excruciating pain as a result of metal poisoning – ironically, those adamantium claws are slowly killing Hugh Jackman’s haggard lead – James Mangold has essentially stripped the former X-Men down to his bare bones for a more intimate and, hopefully, memorable story.
At least, that’s the idea. However, it took time before Fox brass warmed to the idea of portraying Logan through a different lens in time for his imminent swan song. In reflecting on the internal debate at Fox, Snider revealed that:
“Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film. It’s more of an elegy about life and death. The paradigm for it was a Western, and my colleagues were up in arms. It’s not a wise-cracking cigar-chomping mutton-sporting Wolverine, and the debate internally became, isn’t that freakin’ boring? Isn’t it exciting to imagine Wolverine as a real guy and he’s world-weary and he doesn’t want to fight anymore until a little girl needs him?”
Currently lining the docket at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival, Logan is barreling down on its March 3rd release date. A leaked listing suggested that Wolverine’s last stand will run for 135 minutes in total – just under X-Men: Apocalypse (147 mins) – while the film’s recently revealed IMAX poster paints Mangold’s thriller as an old-school Western.
It marks Hugh Jackman’s final performance as the enraged mutant, but will the Aussie actor don Wolvie’s iconic yellow suit? Time will tell.