James Mangold issues warning: Directors will stop making blockbusters if fans keep attacking

Ruthless fan culture is going to make directors question whether or not they should accept blockbuster gigs

Published July 12, 2018 8:00PM (EDT)

Daisy Ridley in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Daisy Ridley in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

This article originally appeared on IndieWire.

James Mangold is the latest director to speak out about toxic fandom. The director is well accustomed to dealing with impassioned fan groups as the director of “Logan,” but he’s warning movie lovers that visionary filmmakers will stop accepting the gig to make Hollywood tentpoles if angry fans continue to attack and harass.

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Mangold took to his Twitter page (via io9) to address the industry: “At the point when writing and directing big franchises has become the emotionally loaded equivalent of writing a new chapter of The Bible (with the probable danger of being stoned and called a blasphemer), then a lot of bolder minds are gonna leave these films to hacks and corporate boards.”

Extreme fan culture has been a major talking point ever since “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” star Kelly Marie Tran deleted her Instagram posts in June after facing months of online harassment with fans who hated her character, Rose Tico, being added to the “Star Wars” franchise. “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson has been a victim of harassment as well and the severe backlash against his film has been widely reported on since the movie opened last December.

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Mangold wrote on Twitter that he understands why fans can get upset about their favorite franchises (especially “Star Wars” since it “holds tremendous spiritual power”), but he said that it’s important to handle disappointment in a constructive way and not by harassing actors and directors.

“The fervor of some attacks has an evangelical ferocity,” Mangold wrote. “Now, I get it cause for many folk, including me, the ‘Star Wars’ saga holds tremendous spiritual power, similar to a religious text. But we must remember to try to handle our disappointments the way Yoda might, as opposed to Darth.”

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Mangold argued that toxic fan culture will discourage great directors like Johnson from signing up to make tentpole films in the future. The “Logan” director is the second filmmaker this month to speak out against toxic fandom. “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn made headlines July 4 for telling angry “Star Wars” fans to grow up. You can read Mangold’s thoughts in the tweets below.

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By Zack Sharf

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Blockbusters Fandoms Film Industry Indiewire James Mangold Star Wars Toxic Fandoms