If you've seen director James Mangold's brutal, heartbreaking Logan, you know it doesn't have a whole lot of things in common with Richard Donner's aw-shucks approach to Superman in the late '70s. But that doesn't mean Wolverine's farewell didn't draw some inspiration from the Man of Steel's classic stories.
Mangold told Empire that he looked at the quiet moments in Donner's 1978 Superman film for inspiration on how to keep humanity in the character moments of Logan. Think of the family scene around the kitchen table and the conversations Logan shares with Laura once they get to know one another. Or the hilarious, biting banter between Logan and Xavier. Mangold said he was inspired by the in-between scenes in Superman to find the balance for those moments.
Here's an excerpt from his comments:
"I think it's something Neil Gaiman played with so beautifully in the original Sandman: these are literally gods but they're having fraternal squabbles. It's like Hannah and Her Sisters, but with gods. I think that's humanizing. Richard Donner's Superman was extremely human to me – a different tone to Logan by far, but still. Those beautifully-written scenes by Robert Benton between him and Lois Lane on the terrace, the beautiful humanity and simplicity of those scenes, and the lyrical joy of being swept in the air by a god who also happens to have a crush on [her], the contradictions in all of that are beautiful to me."
So yeah, we owe Superman a debt of gratitude for Mangold being able to pull off Wolverine's final farewell. Do you see where Mangold is coming from on the comparison?