James Mangold is a filmmaker who has inexorable ties to the the music legend Johnny Cash. Over a decade ago in 2005, he directed the biopic Walk the Line, which led to an Oscar win from its lead actress, Reese Witherspoon. The most recent tie, of course, came in the form of the first trailer for Mangold’s latest film, Logan. The trailer was set to the dulcet tones of Cash’s cover of the song “Hurt.” This immediately set the mood for the type of film we were to get for Hugh Jackman’s last run as the Wolverine.
But believe it or not, that’s not where the connections between Cash and Logan end. Speaking with Creative Screenwriting, Mangold discussed a very real connection he made between Logan and his Cash biopic. He related it to a conversation he had with Cash. During the production of Walk the Line, Mangold would call him for research, and after Cash’s wife passed, he would call him every Saturday morning.
In a random conversation, they got around to discussing what movies they both connected with, and one that Cash brought up was that of James Whale’s horror classic Frankenstein, which he first saw as an eight or nine-year-old.
“[Cash] said he had this very palpable experience watching the movie. Everyone in the movie was frightened of this monster, but he identified with the monster and saw it as an extension of himself. He said, ‘I identified with Frankenstein because I felt I also was made up of all these bad parts.’
"It was a very moving conversation with John, but it also would very much be the words coming out of Logan’s mouth. He is a character that feels in some way cursed and made dark by God, and is forced to live in this body with this destiny of violence and regret.”
That certainly holds true with the dark, regretful tone found in the Logan film. Logan very much has a real remorse for his continued existence, especially when those who he felt were better than him had since passed on.
Pretty heavy stuff, but given how the film turned out, it makes sense that he’d reference such weighty experiences. Luckily for us, the movie ended up being pretty darn good, so the comparison doesn’t come across as unduly pretentious. Be sure to check out our full review for the film if you haven’t yet!
Logan is out in theaters now!
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SOURCE: Creative Screenwriting