Audiences will bid farewell to Hugh Jackman’s incarnation of Wolverine when Logan hits theaters and concludes the actor’s nearly two decade run as the popular character. However, with the film set in the near future where mutants are facing extinction, it appears Logan’s friends and colleagues from his time with the X-Men won’t be afforded the same opportunity to say their goodbyes to Wolverine. In an interview with CinemaBlend, director James Mangolded discussed why he chose not to include a large number of mutants and instead focus on the trio of Logan, Charles Xavier and X-23.
Mangold explained that with the average feature film run time of two hours, including a large cast of heroes limits the amount of possible character development.
“And that 120 minutes, when you’re making a movie with six, seven mutants or six, seven superheroes, these kind of gangbang movies that are kind of the rage right now, the reality of them is that — very much like the comic books each character gets — if you make a seven-person movie, you take those 120 minutes. You divide it by seven. Now, each character has, like, an eight-minute arc. They effectively each have the character development of a Warner Brothers’ cartoon.”
Mangold stated that limited character development is not a fault of directors or writers, but simply a matter of math when it comes to dividing 120 minutes worth of time among a large cast.
“So the reality is that it’s not really about whether the filmmakers are better or worse, or the writing is better or worse. It’s once you make these decisions, the real estate has gotten subdivided so heavily that there really is only so much left to go deeper. I really wanted scenes where there wasn’t a visual effect in sight, where it was just the power of the acting and the power of these characters that carried them.”
Though many fans would have enjoyed seeing some of their favorite X-Men characters in Wolverine’s final adventure, critics have praised the film’s intimate focus on Logan as part of the reason why the film is a strong conclusion to the character’s story, indicating that James Mangold made the right decision to scale back on the number of mutants.
Logan will be released in theaters on March 3, 2017.