The Spotlight: Patrick Stewart explains how "Logan" changed superhero movies forever
You don't hear much about superhero movies getting Oscar buzz.
"Logan" is certainly the exception. The gut-wrenching sendoff of Hugh Jackman's beloved "Wolverine" character is making Hollywood re-think what comic book movies are capable of.
Sir. Patrick Stewart portrayed the X-Men's spiritual leader "Professor X" through seven films spanning 17 years. Speaking with Four Quadrant, Stewart explained how the film reset the bar.
"On more than one occasion the director James Mangold encouraged improv," said Stewart. "He would say, 'Listen, when the script ends here just don't let it end. Just go on with the dialogue. That's something I always enjoyed and Hugh is also brilliant at it. A couple little things made it into the movie that were improvised and not in the script. Particularly in the wonderful scene with the family sitting around the farmhouse table. An ordinary house. Ordinary people having dinner and staying the night. That doesn't happen in superhero movies that much, studio movies.
"I was talking with an actor last night who said, 'You know, your "Logan" has changed everything. We can't quite make superhero movies the way we made them before because there's a different element that might need to be introduced."
Stewart largely credits the success of the film to its director and star in Mangold and Jackman, respectively.
"Hugh, who has always been terrific in the franchise, was extraordinary in Logan," said Stewart. "The pain and the anger and the disappointment that he brought to it. His weariness. He is so f**ked in this place. You can see it in his face. He wants to be on that boat on the ocean just as much as Charles does but here he's got to get the money together to buy it. His work was outstanding on any level of assessment. I was thrilled by that. The way in which the different elements James brought into the movie, I thought, resonated well. The contrasts. Not only within the "Logan" movie but within the contrasts that had gone before.
"The reduced special effects work. I mean there was some, of course, and it was pretty scary, but it wasn't the same kind of special effects that we'd seen in the other movies. That epic scale of the Golden Gate Bridge collapsing into San Francisco Bay. None of that."
Stewart believes the scope and achievement of the entire film was perfecting captured during one scene in particular.
"The humanity," Stewart continued. "As we mentioned, that scene around the farmhouse dinner table was so unexpected and so charming and that it preceded the horror of what happens then in that farmhouse. I never found that I could comfortably watch that scene of the family getting slaughtered. So, beautiful movement from something that is tranquil and pleasant and everyday to uncontrollable horror. Like a car plowing into a sidewalk of pedestrians."
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