Warning: Major spoilers follow for Logan. If you have not seen the movie and do not want to know what happens, click away!
Screenwriter Scott Frank recently spoke with THR about the process of writing Logan, major scenes and more. Here are some of the highlights from that interview:
On the X-24 character: “It was an interesting thing — for him [Logan] to be confronted with himself. It reminds him of what he once was. He was not a good guy. But we didn’t want to make a meal out of it. You have to be careful that that doesn’t become the concept through the whole movie, because then it does exactly the opposite of what we were trying to do.”
Were they conscious of fan reaction to Xavier’s death in X-Men: The Last Stand while crafting his death in Logan: “I don’t know if we consciously tried to do that, but I do know in the middle of the movie, we kept feeling this desire to have this respite, where for 30 seconds they can have this life that is never available to them. But they can have it for a couple of hours and it’s a cruel, cruel detour. We thought there could be a lot of emotion there. And it could be a way of also ending Professor X’s story — with the most normal family in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.”
Creating the moment of Logan’s death: “We just kept going back to character and his relationship with his “father” and his relationship with someone who is genetically created, but is still technically his daughter. We kept it personal the whole time. That’s really what we were obsessed with. You could feel it as we were writing it — that it was accruing to something powerful at the end.”
What they got right in Logan that he felt didn’t turn out quite right in The Wolverine: “We didn’t have to connect it to any larger “universe.” Or, as Jim keeps saying, “We didn’t have to sell Happy Meals.” And so that was great. Whereas, the last one, my favorite part is where he’s in the middle of rural Japan and with this woman and being a human being and feeling what it’s like to be a human being. But we’re not there very long before we’re back to giant robots and stuff. And then it becomes just another superhero movie with a lot of CG stuff. And we were trying to avoid that this time around, and the studio had changed studio heads and they were very much into the idea of trying something new, because otherwise, what’s the point? The only way these movies have value is if they become about something else. They can’t all be about saving the world.”
On the film’s Shane influences: “Jim and I both love Westerns. In the last movie [The Wolverine], we talked about Outlaw Josey Wales a lot. In this movie, we talked about Unforgiven a lot. And I just finished making a six-hour Western. So I’m obsessed with the Western genre. The plot doesn’t mirror Shane’s plot, but Shane is a bit of a superhero. Coming into town and taking care and vanquishing the bad guys and leaving. I always thought that was a really interesting idea, and having her quote the movie and having something she can connect to with Prof. X was something Jim very early on started playing with. And it became great in the larger thematic sense. ‘There are no more guns in the valley.’ It’s all apropos of what’s happening in Logan. We also liked the idea that she [Laura] didn’t know what to say at his funeral, so she’s going to quote the movie. Which is interesting, the same way they are using comic books, they are going to a place they think are going to keep them safe, because they read it in a comic book. All of that stuff I think is really interesting to play with. “