Evidenced by his success with “Cop Land,” “Walk the Line,” “3:10 To Yuma” and “Knight and Day,” James Mangold has a knack for turning populist entertainment into personal expression. But when 20th Century Fox announced that Mangold would be taking on “The Wolverine,” a sequel to “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” his fans seemed concerned he might be overwhelmed by the enormity of a franchise sequel, and the constant scrutiny that seems to come with one. Never mind the fact that he’s directed critical and commercial darlings alike with Russell Crowe and Tom Cruise, and came away with fun, interesting pictures that still feel like they belong to him. But Mangold told The Playlist that he thought that a sequel was the best place for him to be able to imprint his personality on the property, since he’s unencumbered by the requirements of an ensemble piece or an origin story.
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