Blast from the past

James Mangold before Boba Fett solo movie: 7 of my favorite films


James Mangold is on fire these days.

After directing Logan, one of the best X-Men movies (and any movies period) ever, according to Hollywood Reporter the director is set to direct a Star Wars stand-alone movie centered on Boba Fett.

That’s right after Solo- A Star Wars story there will be another standalone movie about a Star Wars character, but this time about feared bounty hunter and fan-favorite character.

I first got familiar with James Mangold’s with in the late 90’s when I saw Girl Interrupted for the first time, and I was quickly impressed of the director’s versatility in picking the genres for his next projects but also with the easy-going nature of his camera work.

He’s done drama, biopics, action packed comic book adaptations and even rom coms. He’s yet to present an origin story for one of the most beloved characters of all time (Boba Fett) and I can’t wait for it quite frankly.

But while we anticipate the Boba Fett solo film to open, let’s look back at some of James Mangold’s best movies to date. A selection of my personal favorites.

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Stars: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall….
Fun fact about the movie: Winona Ryder handpicked James Mangold to direct this film after seeing his movie Heavy (1995).

Heavy (1995)

Stars: Pruitt Taylor Vince, Liv Tyler, Shelley Winters…
Fun fact about the movie: According to James Mangold, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Shelley Winters clashed early on during the production. Mangold said that as Vince was preparing for what was his first leading role in a film, he had felt upstaged by Winters. Mangold said that given her reputation as a Hollywood star, she had been very loud and theatrical, making Vince feel overshadowed. With tensions running high, Mangold went to Winters and told her that she had to make things right with him. Winters begrudgingly agreed and on the next day when they were preparing to shoot, Winters had Vince meet her on set in front of the cast and crew. Winters told Vince of all the famous people she’s worked with, including Gene Hackman and Stanlet Kubrick and the insults she called them, telling Vince that he now joined a long list of respected Hollywood people that she had insulted. Mangold said the tensions had gone away after that and they worked together well.

Logan (2017)

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
Fun fact about the movie: Sir Patrick Stewart lost 21 pounds to play Charles Xavier as elderly and sick. Stewart claimed that he had a steady weight since he was a teenager and had never deliberately lost weight before. Hugh Jackman genuinely held Stewart in all the scenes of Wolverine carrying Professor Xavier.

Kate & Leopold (2001)

Stars: Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber….
Fun fact about the movie: Hugh Jackman took etiquette lessons from 19th-century etiquette expert Jane Gibson (who trained actors for such projects as Sense and Sensibility (1995)). He also studied ballroom dancing and trained to ride a horse for the film.

The Wolverine (2013)

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto…
Fun fact about the movie: Guillermo del Toro expressed interest in directing, being a fan of the Japanese saga in the “Wolverine” comics. He met with James Gianopulos and Hugh Jackman about directing the film, but ultimately decided he did not wish to spend two to three years of his life, working on the film.

Walk the Line (2005)

Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin…
Fun fact about the movie: Johnny Cash approved Joaquin Phoenix to play him in the film because he liked his performance in the movie Gladiator (2000). June Carter Cash also approved Reese Witherspoon for her role in the film.

Identity (2003)

Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet…
Fun fact about the movie: The song the prisoner starts to sing as he is lead to the bathroom is I Got Stripes a prison song by Johnny Cash who died the year after the films release.


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