What does James Mangold think about Old Man Logan?

James Mangold: The Darkest Wolverine Comic Book Storyline Wasn't Used in Hugh Jackman’s Logan as "The plot... was not workable for me"

James Mangold’s Logan is one of the most respected and critically acclaimed works surrounding the character of Wolverine. Hugh Jackman gave the performance of his life, and the story and script helped him through every step of the way. Although the film’s premise could not have been more beautiful and fans adored the direction the film took, many expected the story to follow the comic book series, Old Man Logan. 


Logan's death sceneA still from Logan
While it did take some inspiration, the story is unique enough to have little to no proper source material. Many fans were surprised by such an approach, as the comic’s story was one of the most tragic and dark ones. It paints the picture of a barren world, having been ruled by villains for too many years.

While many would have chosen this story itself, Mangold revealed why he did not take such an approach.

James Mangold Did Not Want to Adapt Old Man Logan

Even before the release of Logan’s trailer, fans were convinced the story was going to follow that of Old Man Logan. The truth of the matter very quickly came out. While fans were not disappointed by the decision, since the movie was a masterpiece, many wondered why such an approach was taken. During an interview with Discussing Film, James Mangold explained exactly this.
Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney in James Mangold's Logan.Dafne Keen as Laura Kinney in James Mangold’s Logan.

“Now, the plot that they came up with in ‘Old Man Logan’ was not workable for me,”

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The filmmaker revealed that the expected approach was actually considered at Marvel Studios. However, he was not invested in it, not finding it to be “workable.” His reasoning for such a bold claim was quite interesting, as he continued, even calling the iconic comic “nihilistic.”

James Mangold Wanted to Focus on the Characters and not the World

James Mangold continued, revealing that the story of Old Man Logan was too pessimistic for him. The world was too dark and tragic, and the story, for the filmmaker, following the protagonists through a wasteland with no hope in sight. While the world was very sad and upsetting, Mangold did not find it moving in the way he was looking for.


Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman in Logan (2017)Dafne Keen and Hugh Jackman in Logan (2017)

“For one reason I didn’t find it moving. It felt like [a] nihilistic journey through different spheres and worlds. But I wanted to feel Logan, his pain, and his journey in a way that I didn’t think I could get at through that plot, which was incredibly imaginative and picaresque.”

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He wanted Wolverine to end his journey emotionally rather than going in, claws blazing. He wanted to explore the character’s psyche and darkness rather than the world they were living in, regardless of how interesting it was. Since Old Man Logan took the latter approach, he decided to stray away from it.