James Mangold

James Mangold

James Mangold is the director of The Wolverine and the screenstory, co-writer and director of Logan.


  • "I really think a lot of genre art is different [from] what people think they are. I'm kind of the guy who likes record shops where all the records are on one stack. I never go 'Why is Ray Charles in Country/Western and why is this album Rock and Roll'. It's almost like *you* guys need to put records in boxes so it makes it easy to talk about and then we all follow. The reality is the Western and samurai film are incredibly similar, and there's been a huge amount of dialogue between those films over the years. For me, what Hugh was touching on was trying to get inside all the characters in this movie which means you need space. You need space from other mutants. You can't make a movie that gets inside characters when you have twelve mutants and two hours, each character gets eight minutes. You also need a movie that has openings for people to expose what's inside them. The Western is a beautiful example of a format that's both action and character [driven]."
  • "[The train sequence] is made up of hundreds of pieces. There's a lot of pieces in that sequence and it requires two types of planning. One of the things that could happen when planning an action sequence for a film, especially when you have resources, is that you can do anything. And the trick when you can do anything is that there's a huge temptation for the filmmaker to start flying the camera through the window of the train and up through the accordion and out the window and up the drainpipe.. and my kind of overriding goal with the actors and the camera and how I was directing the film is to try to make the film feel more real and therefore don't make shots you couldn't make. Don't make shots that [just because] the technology now allows you to. Because you can literally do anything. It almost puts the filmmaker in an odd position because suddenly you can create any frame of any shot. It's almost too many choices. Why does the chase scene in The French Connection with Popeye Doyle in Queens look so good? Because it was a handheld camera running down under the overpass and it was real... I'm in the habit of saying no. Meaning, I'm in the habit of saying give me shot as if I were doing it all absolutely 100% real."
  • "What I was really into in seeing in the film was sweat, blood, eyes. Grounded action. We're not at the budget level of some of the other summer movies and I didn't want to compete on an epic scale I wanted to compete on the intensity scale. What that meant for me is that Wolverine isn't Spider-Man, he isn't Superman. He can't jump up and grab a 747, he can't fly up into the atmosphere... he has claws and he has a skeleton and he's bitter and grumpy and he kills. And that's it. So what that allows you to do is to.. I thought much more in line with Dirty Harry films or Popeye Doyle films, characters who captivated us but whose feet are firmly on the ground."

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