James Mangold Cut a ‘Powerful’ Jean Grey Scene from ‘Logan’
When you learn about writing, there’s one mantra that you’ll hear over and over: Kill your darlings. Sometimes, the only way to make a scene in a book or a paragraph in an article work best is to take out the part of it you love the most, just because hanging onto it isn’t worth the clunkiness it creates. The same is true for film, and oftentimes directors will have to take out really great scenes because they don’t work with the flow of the rest of the movie. Logan is pretty seamlessly put together, but even James Mangold ran into that problem once or twice. He revealed that there was a tribute to Wolverine’s fellow X-Man Jean Grey in the middle of the movie that he had to cut for story reasons. [Some SPOILERS follow for Logan, so if you haven’t seen it yet, run far away.]
While speaking with Empire about his new film, Mangold said that there was a moment he wrote into that great dinner scene with Xavier, Logan, Laura, and the family they meet on the road, where they discussed Logan’s past, and, in particular, his “wife” Jean. He and Jean were never married, but he’s carried her memory around with him ever since The Last Stand — she’s even in a couple visions in The Wolverine. Mangold said that he loved the scene, but ultimately it had to be taken out because it was just too bleak.
I sketched out different conversations for that dinner scene and one of them went to a much darker place. Mrs Munson asks Logan if he’s married, and Charles says he was – but he killed her. Of course, he wasn’t really married, but what that then spawns is Charles waxing poetic about Jean Grey, and it’s a really cool moment. Both Hugh and Patrick were amazing. The problem was, it created an incredibly powerful lead brick in the middle of the only moment in the movie where there was a breather. Even I, with my taste for the dark, felt that it was one too many. Things go pretty shitty within seconds after that. I think [the deleted scene] will make it to the Blu-ray.
I’m glad that we’ll get to see the scene, but it was a good call to take it out, for exactly the reason Mangold cites. The movie is sad enough pretty much the whole time, and that dinner scene is basically the one point at which our heroes are allowed to take a break. Reminding Logan of his painful past yet again would have been too cruel.
Logan is currently in theaters.