James Mangold

Logan director James Mangold defends Rian Johnson from The Last Jedi backlash

Contributed by
Jul 8, 2018

Few directors of superhero films are held in such high regard as James Mangold, whose Logan and The Wolverine helped Hugh Jackman’s take on the iconic X-Men member mature over more involved solo films. Maybe Taika Waititi. Maybe. But Mangold was also tapped by Lucasfilm to write and direct a Boba Fett standalone movie in the Star Wars universe.

Who knows whether or not that film will happen after Solo shook Disney’s confidence in its spin-off movies, but Mangold is still entrenched in the Star Wars world - most recently defending The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson from some fans’ weird and obsessive hatred.

This outrage isn’t only surprisingly lengthy, but damaging to the very art it aims to preserve, Mangold argues. This sentiment came from a Twitter thread (and various replies) that the writer director posted, analyzing the toxic state of this particular segment of the Star Wars fan community.

Take a look:

“At the point when work writing & directing big franchises has become the emotionally loaded equivalent of writing a new chapter of The Bible (w/ the probable danger of being stoned & called a blasphemer), then a lot of bolder minds r gonna leave these films 2 hacks & [studio] boards,” Mangold tweeted. If directors are going to be raked over the coals - not simply criticized, but abused - for making different choices, there’s no reason for filmmakers to make anything but the same movie over and over again. That’s no fun.

Some fans insinuated that the “hacks” have already taken over and The Last Jedi was the result. Mangold sent back that Johnson and Mission: Impossible – Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie (who was tagged by Johnson in a tweet recommending him as a good writing resource and has since suffered plenty of unpleasant social media interactions of his own) were the creative forces truly fighting for the fans:

And also, as a capper, Mangold mentioned that maybe all these fans ought to think about the very source material they love when they attempt to defend it. Just chill out and remember the philosophies of Yoda, rather than falling back on Vader-esque authoritarian demands:

Even if Star Wars has a “tremendous spiritual power” for some fans, as it does for Mangold, his warning about the “ferocity” of some trolls makes it clear that the subsection of the internet responsible for harassing creators is causing far more harm than anything else in Mangold’s mind.

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