THE WOLVERINE EXCLUSIVE Director James Mangold Interview Excerpt
Interview conducted by and copyright Edward Gross
The new issue of Movie Magic magazine, which features Man Of Steel on the cover, has a six page story on the making of The Wolverine. What follows is an excerpt from the interview with the film's director, James Mangold.
MOVIE MAGIC: As a filmmaker, what drew you to The Wolverine?
JAMES MANGOLD: I was very suspicious of it at first, and the reasons I was suspicious are the reasons I ended up taking it. I saw an opening with this particular saga with Wolverine to do something different that didn't fit the Jello mold of what superhero films are. I enjoy them, but I feel that there's kind of always the origin story or the big bad villain's story. They tend to be what they are and they're fun, but I was not anxious to do either. For me, wading into the waters of a tentpole film, I'd been waiting for a chance for something leaning more into character and character struggle, and a little less about what new intergalactical demon was going to destroy the Earth and how you were going to stop them. Again, there's nothing wrong with it, but the reality for me is I feel like I would be walking so distinctly in the footsteps of friends of mine who have done great stuff doing exactly that, that I just felt like unless it feels different there's no reason to do it.
MOVIE MAGIC: So what felt different about this one?
JAMES: This saga and the way it's framed up as a story that takes place in mainland Japan, almost 90% of it gave you a kind of liberation to start afresh a little bit with Wolverine. I had the idea of moving this saga to take place after every existing movie so that we're actually advancing the story beyond where all the existing films have.
MOVIE MAGIC: And in this movie you get to deal with a Wolverine who has lost the element of immortality.
JAMES: The concept that I brought in to the movie was a concept of kind of wanting to explore Wolverine at this place where he's lost everything. The original saga is so much about his own mortality and moving on and love and how Wolverine can't love or connect with people because in a sense he outlives them all and so many of them die on his watch. He's lost so many people he cared about in the past. The Wolverine we find in this movie is a guy who has given up. If living is defined by our interactions and intimacy with other people, it's a Wolverine who has given up on that. That's a really great place to start with a character, and then on top of that it was instinct working on the script that it just seemed like an impediment to have him be invulnerable. If anything, I wanted this movie to be about what happens when a god is vulnerable; when an immortal becomes vulnerable. This is everything he's been wishing for, but is it what he wanted? Meaning you find a guy who almost would pay money to be able to get off this boat and can't, because his mortal coil is immortal, then suddenly circumstances in the story actually make him vulnerable. Now he has to deal with what he wished for.
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