Calling the Logan trailers – especially the first one, with the Johnny Cash music – GREAT, would be an understatement. It is undoubtedly my personal favorite trailer from 2016, and I’m sure that this next installment of the X-Men franchise is going to be nothing short of amazeballs.
Here’s a fun fact, though. Did you know, that Fox Studios were initially not keen on producing the film? Here’s what Twentieth Century Fox Film Chairman, Stacey Snider, had to say:
“Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film. It’s more of an elegy about life and death. The paradigm for it was a Western, and my colleagues were up in arms. It’s not a wise-cracking cigar-chomping mutton-sporting Wolverine, and the debate internally became, isn’t that freakin’ boring? Isn’t it exciting to imagine Wolverine as a real guy and he’s world-weary and he doesn’t want to fight anymore until a little girl needs him?”
Yeah, I know. What a bunch of morons. But, let’s just think about it for a second. Is it fair for the higher ups at Twentieth Century Fox to feel that way?
Okay, thought about it.
Seriously, studios in general need to get their heads out of their arses. For whatever reason, studios assume that audiences around the world are salivating for this:
- Convoluted premise.
- Shitty script.
- 45 minutes of EXPLOSIONS.
And I’m not just talking about it from a critical standpoint either. Let’s look at some box office numbers.
Budget: 178 million USD
Worldwide box office gross: 543 million USD ++
Budget: 250 million USD
Worldwide box office gross: 873 million USD ++
Budget: 175 million USD
Worldwide box office gross: 745 million USD ++
How is it that the most explosive X-Men movie to date, starring JENNIFER “THE GIRL ON FIRE” LAWRENCE, not gross 1 billion USD, worldwide? Why did a movie featuring one of the greatest fictional characters ever created – The Joker – not gross 1 billion USD, worldwide? Fine, forget X-Men: Apocalypse and Suicide Squad. How is it that a movie titled Batman V Superman, not gross 1 billion dollars? I mean, c’mon! It’s BATMAN V SUPERMAN, featuring WONDER WOMAN, DOOMSDAY, the FLASH, and AQUAMAN!
Because, despite the fancy visual effects and the entire 3rd act (of all three movies) consisting purely of stuff exploding, the storytelling is average at best.
You know what worked? DEADPOOL.
Budget: 58 million USD.
Worldwide box office gross: 783 million USD ++
Sure, Deadpool didn’t gross 1 billion USD, worldwide either. But, its budget is relatively small and unlike the aforementioned comic book movies, Deadpool is rated-R. And, as it stands, Deadpool is the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time. More importantly, it’s the highest grossing X-Men film to date.
Deadpool is a huge critical and financial success because it’s a passion project. Ryan Reynolds put together a team that actually gave a crap about the character, and although Fox Studios kept reducing their budget, they plowed through.
Studio: Mr. Reynolds, this movie is going to suck. We have to reduce your budget.
Reynolds: Okay, no problem. Also, suck my dick. *Works with scriptwriters to come up with “I left my guns in the cab” joke.*
And just like Deadpool, Logan is very much a passion project as well. James Mangold and Hugh Jackman have been working on this movie for years. Also, like Deadpool, studios initially thought the idea wouldn’t appeal to the masses. Look, I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch. I have not watched Logan, yet. However, the early buzz surrounding this movie has been overwhelmingly positive. So, let’s just operate under the notion that Logan does turn out to be the best shit ever, and kills it both financially and critically. Do we actually need another regular X-Men movie?
In a recent interview with Hey U Guys, Sophie Turner had this to say:
I like X-Men: First Class and I love X-Men: Days of Future Past, but Apocalypse turned out to be an absolute disappointment. And I’m just not the least bit interested in the next chapter of that story. I simply do not care, not even if the movie revolves around The Dark Pheonix Saga. Will I watch it on its opening night if it comes out? Sure. But, would I much rather see this franchise move in a completely different direction? Hell yeah!
Fox Studios has the chance to do something really special here. They’ve made these big budget X-Men movies. Some of them are good, some of them are pretty fucking terrible *cough* X-Men Origins: Wolverine *cough*. But none of these movies (besides Deadpool) came remotely close to drawing the Marvel Cinematic Universe type numbers.
This isn’t 2006. We’ve already seen explosions, giant beams in the sky, aliens destroying buildings, more giant beams in the sky, monsters, and more God damn explosions. Enough is enough. Just shelve Sansa Stark and the rest of her hombres for a few years, at least.
I would love to see Twentieth Century Fox take some risks and make more intimate comic book movies, ala Deadpool and Logan. Bring on scriptwriters and directors who actually love and understand the lore. You know what, how about making an R-rated comic book cinematic universe with Deadpool, New Mutants and X-Force. Playing it safe gives you generic to bad superhero films.
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