James Mangold's Logan was seen as a turning point in the superhero genre. The director put an emphasis on drama and Western film elements as opposed to looking back at other superhero movies that had come before. While Marvel fans, and even people who don't normally like comic book movies, were excited by the film, Ethan Hawke was not impressed. The veteran actor believes that the big business element of the entertainment industry is damaging the independent spirit and burying movies that deserve to be seen.
In a recent interview, Ethan Hawke spoke about the importance of film festivals, noting that if it weren't for them, indie movies would get crushed by Hollywood. Hawke states that the festivals are able to let people know what "deserves to be seen." Apparently, James Mangold's Logan doesn't fall into that category, according to Hawke. He explains.
"Now we have the problem that they tell us Logan is a great movie. Well, it's a great superhero movie. It still involves people in tights with metal coming out of their hands. It's not Bresson. It's not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is. I went to see Logan cause' everyone was like, This is a great movie and I was like, Really? No, this is a fine superhero movie. There's a difference but big business doesn't think there's a difference. Big business wants you to think that this is a great film because they wanna make money off of it."
Ethan Hawke's ideas towards superhero movies will undoubtedly cause a stir for fans of the genre. Logan was pushed hard during awards season and many believed that it had the chance of taking home the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. While it didn't take home the Academy Award, Logan did break box office records and won plenty of other awards, including an Art Directors Guild Award, two Empire Awards, a Golden Trailer Award, a Saturn Award, and others.
Ethan Hawke wants modern audiences to look at what is happening underneath the big Hollywood blockbusters, which is fair. There are plenty of great films that come out every year that get a speck of the accolades of a Black Panther or Logan movie. Hawke sees the entertainment industry as being run by big business with profit being the most important piece of the puzzle. The actor also criticized the "phoniness" of the industry and his dislike of awards, which could come off sounding like sour grapes.
Regardless of Ethan Hawke's feelings about the superhero genre, James Mangold helped reshape the way that the movies can be made with Logan. Ryan Coogler did the same thing with Black Panther, Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and Infinity War pushed the limits of what a superhero movie can be. In the end, Hawke, along with Marvel and DC, all want to be recognized by Hollywood instead of being pigeonholed as one thing or another. Hawke is fighting for the indies, while the superhero genre is fighting for respect. You can read more of the interview with Ethan Hawke and his thoughts on Logan over at The Film Stage.