James Mangold and the Proliferation of Film Franchises

On The Business, KCRW’s film industry podcast, Kim Masters sits down with James Mangold, the director of the new X-Men film Logan, to talk about the film’s R rating, the explosion of film franchises, and Mangold’s twitter activity in relation to the film. Mangold makes it clear in this interview that he was willing to leave Logan at any point if the studio was trying to take control of his movie; moreover, this idea of control in the filmmakers hand becomes a major talking point in the interview, as Masters and Mangold how Logan was in a way a reaction against the standard film franchise. The two individuals agree that these films have grown monotonous and can be extremely damaging to young filmmakers as they are plucked from obscurity after one film to direct a major blockbuster, are given little creative control of the film, and lastly if the film does poorly then they will often be stuck with most of the blame. This is one of the many reasons that Mangold lists as why he detests franchise films and was oney willing to come on board for Logan if it was going to be different, which it was successful in as it has been praised outside of the realm of superhero films by critics. Lastly, an interesting point made by Masters and Mangold in regard to creative control was the reversal in film and television in recent years. Until recently, it was TV that was more franchise based with little control being given to the directors, while in film, the director was in charge and the structure was more of a one off epic tale.

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