james mangold

Logan Director James Mangold Defends Rian Johnson Against Star Wars Online Fan Rage

The nerd rage is strong.
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It’s been seven months since the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and director Rian Johnson is still facing an onslaught of internet nerd rage from butthurt fanboys. Now, Logan director James Mangold has spoken out in defense of Johnson and against the threat of such fan rage. While we’ve discussed the toxic rage of Star Wars fandom, these tweets shed some light on the director’s perspective and the larger ramifications of these campaigns of rage and harassment.

Mangold is referring to a tweet from Johnson, where The Last Jedi director recommends that anyone interested in learning about screenwriting should follow Christopher McQuarrie on Twitter. McQuarrie, who won an Oscar for writing The Usual Suspects, directed Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation as well as the upcoming Mission: Impossible – Fallout. In response, angry fans flooded both directors’ mentions, causing McQuarrie to tweet that his dream of directing a Star Wars film has been ruined.

Now, I can’t feel too sorry for Johnson and McQuarrie: they’re both rich, talented A-list filmmakers who have made massively successful blockbusters, and who will have zero problems getting work in the future. What concerns me is that this amount of vitriol is targeted at straight white men with nerd cred. What’s going to happen if/when the studio hires a director who is female or queer or a person of color (or an intersection of all three)? After seeing the rage directed at Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie Tran, both of whom have deleted their social media accounts, it’s easy to predict that a diverse director will trigger a tidal wave of racism and misogyny.

This backlash is yet another road block for diverse directors seeking these jobs, and this relentless online drama discourages studios from hiring them. In an industry that is already unwilling to take risks or hire creators who aren’t white, straight and male, toxic fan outrage has the ability to squash creativity and original perspectives. It’s sad that these rabid fans would rather sink their own ship instead of charting a course for new waters.

(via SlashFilm, image: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.