Logan Director James Mangold Is Writing Swamp Thing And Star Wars At The Same Time

Logan Director James Mangold Is Writing Swamp Thing And Star Wars At The Same Time

James Mangold says he’s writing Swamp Thing and Dawn of the Jedi at the same time.

By Phillip Moyer
| Published

Writer/Director James Mangold has a lot on his plate. As he wraps up Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the director is set to take a step into the DC Universe with by writing (and possibly directing) Swamp Thing. When speaking with Collider, Mangold stated that he’ll be writing an upcoming Star Wars movie at the same time that he’s writing Swamp Thing.

“The truth is, I’m writing both right now, and who knows what’s going to happen and what’s gonna blossom first or second?” Mangold told Collider.

Interestingly, both James Mangold’s Star Wars movie and his Swamp Thing come as their respective franchises are trying to reinvent themselves after fans have been disappointed by their most-recent films. This puts Mangold in the (perhaps unenviable) position of being tasked with revitalizing two massive, previously-beloved universes that have fallen on hard times.

Swamp Thing is one of the upcoming DC Universe films announced after James Gunn was given creative control of the DC Universe. It will be part of the upcoming “Gods and Monsters” story arc, which will show off the properties’ wide range of characters and varying tones.  Swamp Thing itself will lean into the supernatural horror themes of the original comic, with James Mangold saying that his film will draw most of its inspiration from Alan Moore’s famous run on the character, which reinvented the comic to be a dark, complex tale. 

Dark and complex tales are something that James Mangold is well-known for, with the 2017 film Logan telling a gritty, but nuanced, tale of the titular Logan (aka Wolverine) and Charles Xavier as their physical and mental faculties fail them towards the end of their lives. It’s the best-reviewed of all X-Men-related films so far, wowing both fans and critics alike with its moving (and often heart-wrenching) story. With a triumph like that under his belt, it seems like he has what it takes to do Swamp Thing justice.

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The question is whether James Mangold be able to do it justice while also focusing on his upcoming Star Wars film, Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi. The movie, described as a “biblical epic” by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, describes the first Jedi who learns to oppose chaos and oppression by wielding the power of the force. A film that’s meant to serve as a foundation for the entire Star Wars mythos would be a massive undertaking under any circumstances, and without having another movie to take his attention away.

All of this ignores the fact that we’re not sure whether James Mangold has managed to save the Indiana Jones franchise with the upcoming Dial of Destiny. The fourth Indiana Jones movie left a lot to be desired, and rumors that the multiple endings filmed for the movie all tested poorly means the fifth film might also fare poorly.

Only time will tell whether James Mangold will turn out to be the savior of three franchises. If he succeeds at revitalizing Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and the DC Universe, then it will probably make him one of the most sought-after filmmakers in Hollywood. However, that’s a lot of pressure to put on one man, and even great directors can fail.

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