"We have adult Westerns and adult science-fiction movies, but somehow comic book movies -- even by their nature and titles -- seem like they're for 12-year-olds," he recently told Moviefone at a press event for his latest film, which will reportedly be Hugh Jackman's last time going snkit as Wolverine.
Mangold got want he wanted with "Logan." As 20th Century Fox, the home of the X-Men films, was finding success with its R-rated "Deadpool," the studio announced the final chapter of the Wolverine saga would share the same kid-inappropriate tone.
Hugh Jackman reprises the titular role for the film, which has long been teased to adapt parts of the "Old Man Logan" storyline from the comics. "Clearly we drew a lot of inspiration, not only from 'Old Man Logan,' but other sources," Mangold revealed.
The director, who also co-wrote "Logan," described Mark Millar's original take as Clint Eastwood in the Western "Unforgiven."
"I think the idea that I wanted to explore further was the idea of being in kind of twilight, of being over it, of losing faith," he added. From the moment Mangold started mapping out the plot of "Logan," the story also became about X-23, the female clone of Wolverine, played here by Dafne Keen.
"The biggest thing that's inspiring from the comics and the storyline, besides drawing from a sense of place and setting for 'Old Man Logan,' was also drawing upon the X-23 comic books and the charting of that character and the launching of the character," he explained.
Mangold wanted more "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Paper Moon" than the typically sexualized actress playing a younger superhero, which led to a central question: "How do you make an adult, intense movie, but you involve the issues of children coming to terms with the darkness of the adult world?" The filmmaker told Moviefone that he sees a longer shelf-life for X-23 beyond "Logan," so perhaps there's room to explore her story further in the future.
"Logan" hits theaters March 3.