We caught up with acclaimed screenplay writer Michael Green at the “Logan” NY Fan event at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The film hits theaters on March 2. Read our exclusive interview below:
Tell me a little bit about what it was like working on the Logan screenplay.
Michael Green: Like a lot of people, I grew up reading these comics and loving the character. That’s easy. All you need to do to love this character is be handed an X-Men comic at the right age. Even not the right age. I think anyone can pick it up at any time. The first call I got, “Hey, Jim Mangold, just looking for someone to work with on the script for the next and potentially last Hugh Jackman Wolverine movie.” I just remember having to take a big breath, because that was very exciting. It’s one of those dream jobs. I may have eeked, I may have screamed. I’m not sure. I just know I made some sound that was undignified, and then I politely said, “Yes!” As loud as I could, because it’s a job I ran to the office every day to go work on.
What would you say is the underlying theme of Logan?
Michael Green: When it comes to themes of a film, I always leave it to the audience to see. People who love this character, or even people who are new to it and just come to this film, they will see a character struggling with pain, they’ll see a character struggling with hope. They’ll see a character struggling with what the world has turned into, compared to what he thought the world might be. You might see a lot of different themes from that. One of the things I love about these films is, people who see it then spend a lot of time discussing what it meant, thematically, to them. I’ll be on line listening, so you tell me.
The X-Men franchise has been through many altercations since X-Men First Class. Did that create any obstacles for this screenplay?
Michael Green: The various forms of the X-Men franchise could create problems with this screenplay, if it weren’t for the director and co-writer, Jim Mangold’s idea going into it day one, that though this is a character from the X-Men world, he wanted to make a movie that stood on its own, that was a story that held on its own, and that … Yes, it would fit in with that larger world in the sense that it exists there and it makes sense there. It borrows certain elements and occasional terms, but you could pull all those things out or not have a glossary of terms for what those things mean, and still really enjoy this film.
You also have Blade Runner 2049 coming out. Can you tell me how you got involved with that?
Michael Green: I met with Ridley Scott, and we talked about a few things. Then a few weeks later, I got a call saying he’s thinking seriously about Blade Runner, what do you think? That’s just, again, one of those calls you don’t expect, but then it happens, you call your parents right away, and you tell them. It’s a big one. It was a pleasure to work on. I’m excited for it.
You also worked on Alien: Covenant with Ridley?
Michael Green: I worked on Alien. That came after. We worked on Blade Runner together, wrote a script that he was happy with. You get a lot of notes and comments in this field when you’re a screen writer. When Ridley Scott tells you he likes your screenplay, that’s a good day. He’s a wonderful guy, an incredible guy to work on story with, and obviously one of the most visual people you’ll ever meet. When you work on story with him, he sketches, and you get to see things come to life as you go. Yeah, he said he was going to go make the Alien film, so I spent some time working with him on that, coming up with some story items. A lot of fun there.
I did go to a footage screening of Alien, so we got to see clips that Ridley presented via video, it was very exciting and scary.
Michael Green: He was very happy with the movie. It is an Alien movie. It is gritty and violent and beautiful and … I am terrified to see it all the way through, even knowing what happens. When Ridley Scott says “I’m going to scare the crap out of you,” he’s gonna do it. One of the things that’s so amazing … with a director like Ridley Scott, is that he can do horrifying, but it will still be elegant. There are still frames of horrible things happening, that are beautiful and evocative and indelible. That’s why he’s Ridley Scott.