There was apparently a lot of concern in the executive suites about making an R-rated Wolverine movie.
That's the takeaway from remarks made to Variety by 20th Century Fox Film chairperson Stacey Snider, who said that even though the studio hit it big with an R-rated and very raunchy Deadpool last year, going for the more adult-oriented rating on another X-Men-related movie -- and especially with Hugh Jackman saying this one would be his last -- was not a snap decision.
According to Snider, it wasn't just the proposed violence in the film that gave the suits pause -- because there was plenty of that in Deadpool, too -- but the film's overall tone:
"Inside, there was real consternation about the intensity of the tone of the film. It's more of an elegy about life and death. The paradigm for it was a Western, and my colleagues were up in arms. It's not a wise-cracking cigar-chomping mutton-sporting Wolverine, and the debate internally became, isn't that freakin' boring? Isn't it exciting to imagine Wolverine as a real guy and he's world-weary and he doesn't want to fight anymore until a little girl needs him?"
I literally just came out of a press screening of Logan before sitting down to write this, and although there is still an embargo in effect on formal reviews until tomorrow, I can tell you this: Hugh Jackman and director/co-writer James Mangold have crafted a very special movie here, bold and unlike any other X-Men film -- and the last word I would use to describe it is "boring."
Your mileage may vary, of course, but I think once you see it, you'll agree that Snider and the execs at Fox made the right choice in letting Mangold and Jackman make the movie they wanted to make -- possibly creating the Wolverine movie we've all wanted to see for so long. Just like not every DC movie has to have the same tone as The Dark Knight, not every X-Men movie has to now play like Deadpool. Remember that, studio heads!
Logan opens on March 3.